WPP is poised to name co-chief operating officer Mark Read as the company’s CEO next week, according to multiple UK press reports.
There has been speculation to that effect for weeks, and Read has been the internal frontrunner since before founding CEO Martin Sorrell was forced out in April (when he officially retired). Sorrell’s departure came amidst a company investigation into alleged personal misconduct, although the findings of the investigation have not been disclosed. Sorrell had led the company since the 1980s.
During its month’s-long search process, a number of outside candidates were reportedly considered for the job, including Unilever’s Keith Weed, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Jeremy Buhlmann, Oath’s Tim Armstrong and IBM’s David Kenny.
Read, 51, has been with WPP for most of his career. He has been CEO of the holding company’s digital agency Wunderman since 2015 and before that ran WPP Digital for more than a decade.
Also next week, the firm is scheduled to release its financial results for the first half of the year.
A WPP spokesperson stated, “We cannot be drawn on the precise timing of the announcement nor the identity of the likely new CEO. We expect news in September and will announce it as soon as agreement has been reached with a favoured candidate.”
This story has been updated with a comment from WPP.