Revealed: Why Mike Connaghan Quit, As WPP AUNZ’s Share Price Takes A Hammering

Revealed: Why Mike Connaghan Quit, As WPP AUNZ’s Share Price Takes A Hammering
SHARE
THIS



As broken by B&T yesterday morning, WPP AUNZ CEO Mike Connaghan has shocked just about everyone by sensationally quitting his post.

Connaghan had been in the role for two-and-a-half years and prior to WPP’s merger with STW, he was STW’s CEO for 12 years. He will finish-up at the end of December and has not revealed his next move.

News of Connaghan’s shock departure coincided with a profit warning for the business that saw WPP AUNZ’s shares plunge a whopping 35 per cent yesterday.

It also comes amid industry speculation that Connaghan had been tasked with breaking up the company – something he was particularly loath to do.

In a statement to shareholder yesterday, WPP AUNZ said its full-year results would be below its current guidance of three per cent growth in earnings per share based on its August and September performance and its perceived outlook for the rest of this year.

The statement said that its “digital, PR and media businesses are strong and experiencing growth in the year”.

It then added: “The growth has unfortunately been offset by the underperformance of certain production businesses and creative agencies, with some 60 per cent of the reported decline against 2017 attributed to just two (unnamed) businesses.

“The turnaround and restructure of these businesses is well advanced,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, a WPP AUNZ insider has told B&T Connaghan’s deep roots with STW probably played a major role in his decision to quit WPP.

Connaghan is the son of Terry Connaghan, who started his own agency Connaghan & May in 1970, and merged it with Leo Burnett in 1991.

Connaghan junior took over as CEO of STW when John Singleton exited the business 12 years ago.

B&T’s mole suggested the requirement of WPP AUNZ’s CEO moving forward will be to essentially break up the old STW group. There are presently more than 80 different agencies within the merged STW/WPP entity and the number can no longer prove economic.

The insider expressed doubt as to whether the task of remoulding the communications behemoth’s Australian operation was something Connaghan would have had an appetite for.

They argued that having built the business up in increasingly challenging trading conditions, Connaghan was never going to be the guy who tore it all down in the name of global expediency.

Yesterday, Connaghan said via a statement to B&T: “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.

“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.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Mike Connaghan WPP AUNZ

Latest News

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia
  • Media

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia

Culture-leading publisher Highsnobiety continues to evolve its local operations with the appointment of Citizens of Culture as its strategic partner across media operations within Australia.  Highsnobiety is a premium global brand dedicated to cultural pioneers, with work spanning across digital platforms, print media, documentaries, cutting edge events, a shopping platform and a full service creative […]

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks
  • Technology

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks

An investigation by British broadcaster ITV has found that Amazon is destroying millions of items in unsold or returned stock. The report specifically focuses on one of the 24 warehouses the company has in the UK. According to ITV News, the destroyed items are largely unused and new, either returned items or those which never […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping
  • Media

Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping

Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000
  • Marketing
  • Media

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000

The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years
  • Media

UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years

The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]

Mobile Pnone Shopping Online With A Debit Card
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ultra Commerce Acquires Vesta eCommerce

Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign
  • Campaigns

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign

Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]