今年4月，现年73岁的苏铭天（Marin Sorrell），在执掌公司33年之后，离开了他一手创办的全球最大的广告传播集团，辞去CEO职务，仓促退休。在新的CEO任命之前的这段时间内，由Roberto Quarta担任集团执行董事长，彼时Mark Read 被升任WPP集团的联席首席运营官。而今随着他的履新，现任WPP执行董事长Roberto Quarta将重任非执行董事长(Non-Exec. Chairman），现任联席COO的Andrew Scott 将继续担任WPP的首席运营官。
Mark Read 毕业于剑桥大学经济学院，同时修得文学硕士学位。1989年写信向苏铭天求职并加入WPP，最初的五年担任的是WPP企业发展经理。不过在1995年9月到2002年9月的7年间，他离开了WPP，自己创办了两家公司Booz & Company和WebRewards。2002年，返回WPP担任企业战略总监，并于2005年加入WPP董事会担任执行董事。
集团董事长Roberto Quarta坦言，在经历严格的甄选程序和内外评估之后，Mark在过去几个月中所展现的聪明才智和有效的管理措施，使他们毫不怀疑这项任命的正确性。而在此前路透社对WPP部分雇员的采访中可以看出，无论是高管，还是初级员工，已婚并育有两孩的Mark Read都是大家心目中最受喜欢的掌门人选。Mark Read也表达了有幸与其他高管共建WPP美好明天的期待与自豪，提出要充分挖掘公司潜能，为广告主谋求最大利益，带领WPP变得更强大。
WPP plc today announces the appointment of Mark Read as Chief Executive Officer and his appointment to the Board of WPP as an Executive Director with immediate effect.
Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, said: “The Board carried out a rigorous selection process, assessing internal and external candidates. That process, alongside Mark’s wise and effective stewardship of the business in the last few months, left us with no doubt that he is the right leader for this company, and we are delighted to announce the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint him as Chief Executive Officer of WPP.
“Recognised for his leadership throughout the industry, he has an intimate understanding of the business, he enjoys very strong internal support, and he has earned the respect and endorsement of our clients with his constant focus on their needs. He has played a central role in many of WPP’s most successful investments and initiatives, and he has deep experience at board and operational level. Most recently, Mark led the transformation of Wunderman into one of the world’s top digital agencies, and he understands the importance of culture in creating successful organisations. In short, he is in every way a 21st-century CEO.
“WPP is a world leader in communications services. The priority for the Board and the task ahead for Mark and the new management team is to build on this position of strength, while pursuing a clear vision for change and value creation.”
Mark Read said: “WPP is a great company with exceptional people and strong relationships with clients who place a high value on our work. Few organisations have our global reach – 130,000 people delivering results for clients in 112 different countries. Fewer still have our powerful combination of creativity and expertise in technology and data.
“Our industry is going through a period of structural change, not structural decline, and if we embrace that change we can look ahead to an exciting and successful future. Our mission now is to release the full potential that exists within the company for the benefit of our clients, to accelerate our transformation and simplify our offering, and to position WPP for stronger growth.
“To achieve that we need to foster a culture that attracts the best and brightest: inclusive, respectful, collaborative, diverse. What makes our company special is its people, and I am very proud to have been given the chance to build a new WPP with them.”
Roberto Quarta has resumed his role as Non-Executive Chairman on the appointment of Mark Read as Chief Executive Officer.
Andrew Scott will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of WPP on a permanent basis as a key member of the senior management team. The Board would like to thank him for his efforts, alongside Mark and the rest of the executive team, during a period of significant change for WPP.
Mark Read will be paid in accordance with the Compensation Policy approved by share owners on 7 June 2017, as set out in the 2016 Annual Report.
Annual Salary of £975,000.
Annual Bonus of up to 250% of salary with mandatory deferral of at least 40% of bonus into shares deferred for a two-year period.
LTIP award of 350% of salary. Performance will be measured over a five-year period using measures in line with our Compensation Policy.
A cash allowance of 20% of salary, less employers’ national insurance, in lieu of pension.
A benefits allowance of £35,000 per annum to cover health, risk and other benefits.
His contract of employment contains restrictive covenants including an industry non-compete, a non-deal with clients and a non-poach and non-employ of key WPP individuals.