WPP has reportedly ordered all managers to cancel any new recruitment as new CEO Mark Read (main photo) grapples with a slowdown in the business globally.
According to a report on the US news site Bloomberg, a memo has been circulated through WPP’s senior ranks asking managers to “take urgent action” to stop recruitment immediately in order to “try and protect” the business in the coming years.
It’s unclear how it will impact WPP’s Australian operations, a company spokesperson telling B&T: “WPP AUNZ has always worked closely with all its agencies to ensure costs are balanced against requirement. As part of this ongoing process, WPP AUNZ reviews all new hire requests with agency management. Each are approved or otherwise based on merit, and business performance.”
The news follows the shock resignation of WPP AUNZ chief executive Mike Connaghan last week.
According to the Bloombergs report, WPP had been considering recruiting 2000 new employees based on its forecasting, however, those hires have now all been put on hold and will now not be considered until the end of Q1 2019.
A WPP spokesperson telling Bloomberg: “We’ve made it clear there are priority areas for investment for growth, and these will be unaffected.”
WPP employs about 1340,000 people around the world and last week it cut its profit forecast causing the share price to plummet by its biggest slump in two decades.
Since his elevation to CEO in September, Read has openly agitated for more mergers between WPP agencies at a time when clients are cutting their spends and new digital rivals are springing up.