Advertising agency WPP names Mark Read as new CEO

WPP has appointed Mark Read as its new chief executive, taking over from founder Martin Sorrell who stepped down in April.

LONDON (REUTERS) - WPP has a new chief executive.

Mark Read is replacing founder Martin Sorrell as head of the world's biggest advertising agency.

Mr Sorrell quit in April over a complaint of personal misconduct, which he denied.

WPP recently secured new high profile contracts with Adidas and Shell, but experienced a sharp downturn in trading over the past year due to new competitors and cautious clients.

"Yes Sorrell created an advertising giant, but at the end of his tenure, there were serious questions of whether they'd adapted to the new environment for advertising, with the rise of social media, with the rise of the internet, and that's something he needs to answer very very quickly and if he needs to, he needs a war chest, to fund the kind of investment and expansion in new areas that will make WPP a more effective firm," said IG market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

The $21 billion (S$37.1 billion) company will report its first-half results on Tuesday (Sept 4).

It has previously said it does not expect to grow net sales in 2018.

But longer term investors will be hoping for more from the insider who joined WPP back in 1989 and has previous worked on strategy, client retention and digital operations.