Mike Connaghan has this morning announced his resignation from WPP AUNZ as CEO and executive director.
Connaghan’s resignation was announced via the ASX site this morning, effective 31 December 2018. B&T is unclear what triggered the move.
Connaghan had been in the position for two-and-a-half years. Prior to the merger with STW, he was STW’s CEO for 12 years.
In a statement to B&T, Connaghan said: “It is with mixed feelings that today I announce my resignation as CEO of this great company.
“It has been an absolute honour to lead WPP AUNZ for the past decade, from the days of STW Group through to the recent transformational merger with WPP AUNZ.
“But now that merger is complete, it is time for new leadership. During the 25 years I have spent with the business, I’ve seen it go from strength to strength.
“As the business has grown, so too has the WPP AUNZ family, and working with all our talented people has made me incredibly proud. Together, we’ve made a lot of progress in some challenging times.
“The group’s leadership position in this market is now unassailable and presents a terrific opportunity for fresh insights and renewed energy to move us forward at pace.
“I leave the business wishing it all the success it deserves, and in the capable hands of a strong and established leadership team that will no doubt steer it successfully through this transition period.”
WPP AUNZ chairman Rob Mactier said: “Mike has led the company through a period of extensive change and inspired our people to leverage our scale, global knowledge and collective know-how.
“It is a testament to Mike’s qualities that he recognises that it is now the right time for renewal as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities that the merger and our leadership position in the market represents, particularly as the industry undergoes further transformation.”
“We thank Mike for the extraordinary commitment and contribution he has made to our company over some 25 years, most notably as CEO of the business since 2006.
“The board of WPP AUNZ and our major shareholder, WPP plc, are indebted to Mike for all that he has delivered during his time with WPP AUNZ, and he leaves with our collective best wishes.”
Mactier said the company’s board will undertake a global search for Connaghan’s replacement.
“To best achieve continuity of leadership to deliver on the company’s near-term business objectives, WPP AUNZ executive director John Steedman will lead an executive steering committeeduring the transition phase to a new CEO,” he said.
“Mike will work with the committee, and he will be available to the board and committee through to March 31, 2019.”
In a statement to B&T, Steedman said: “It has been a privilege for all of us to work alongside Mike Connaghan. From his start with the business more than 25 years ago, to successfully merging the STW and WPP business, Mike leaves a strong legacy of commitment to the business.
“Mike has made an outstanding contribution to our company, our people and our clients, and we wish him all the very best for the future.”