For a time it seems that David Kenny, the former CEO of The Weather Channel and former head of Publicis Groupe media unit VivaKi, was a potential candidate to succeed Martin Sorrell as WPP CEO.
Sky News had a report over the weekend that Kenny was interviewed by WPP Chairman Roberto Quarta about the job in New York last month.
Whether Kenny was ever on the short list of candidates is unclear. And it’s also moot. Kenny indicated through a spokesperson at IBM — where he is currently vice president of the company’s Watson and cloud platform division -- that he is not in the running for the post.
But the interview is being taken as a sign that the WPP board has been interviewing external candidates until quite recently.
Late last month, The Wall Street Journal published a story reporting co-COO Mark Read is the odds-on favorite to get the job.
My guess is that WPP leaked the Kenny story to show the world it’s doing all the proper due diligence regarding the search before officially designating Read the new chief. He has been considered an heir apparent since well before Sorrell departed in April.
It does seem that Read is going to grab the brass ring at the end of the process. We’ll find out soon. It's understood that WPP will announce Sorrell’s successor in early September, around the time it reports first-half financial results.