Now that WPP has completed a deal to sell 60% of Kantar to Bain Capital, Eric Salama will be stepping down as CEO sometime next year, the companies have confirmed.
The search for a new CEO will begin immediately. Salama will remain in a transition role and then join the Kantar Board as a non-executive director. Also, he’ll continue to advise clients on a part time basis and work with Kantar management and help with the development of key employees.
Salama has been with Kantar since before it was acquired by WPP in 1988 and has served as CEO for 17 years. Earlier this year he was hospitalized after being stabbed in an apparent car-jacking attempt.
Salama issued a statement: “It has been an intense and rewarding 18 months preparing Kantar for sale and successfully closing a deal with our new partner Bain Capital. I am confident that Kantar has never been better positioned for growth than it is now. As professionally rewarding as 2019 has been, a lot has happened on the personal front. After 17 years as CEO now is the right time for me to pause, reflect on my personal priorities and explore other experiences. I am delighted that, after helping with the transition to a new CEO, I will continue to be involved in the business I love.”
Added WPP CEO Mark Read: “Eric’s contribution to WPP and to Kantar has been immense since the company he was part of was acquired by WPP in 1988. Over the past 17 years, he has built Kantar from its infancy into the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company and then worked tirelessly to transition the company to the next phase of its development. We understand his decision and are delighted that he will continue to help and advise the company in his new role.”