Who Will Succeed WPP's Outgoing Non-Executive Chairman?


WPP non-executive Chairman Roberto Quarta will be stepping down this year after nine years in the post.  

Apparently, it is considered “best practice” for non-executive chairs to serve no longer than nine years in  the UK. 



Quarta has been in the role since 2015 and oversaw the company during the dramatic CEO transition period in 2018 when long-time CEO Martin Sorrell was ousted. (After an interim period, Mark Read was appointed CEO.) 

Quarta led the board as it investigated Sorrell, allegedly for misuse of company funds among other allegations. No need to go over all the sordid accusations here. But have a look at the Financial Times coverage if you care to. Accusations aside, officially Sorrell resigned.  

Many credit Quarta for standing up to Sorrell when most others were afraid to, although some believed he unfairly smeared Sorrell with an investigation never made public but the details of which were leaked to widely-read publications like the FT.  

The search for a successor will be led by WPP board member Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry CEO.  

Earlier this month the UK’s Sky News reported that outgoing BT CEO Philip Jansen had been approached about succeeding Quarta. WPP declined comment on that tidbit but has acknowledged that a search is being conducted for Quarta’s successor.  

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