Despite his shareholder woes, we guess you can chalk up another win for Sir Martin Sorrell as his holding company WPP has agreed to acquire AKQA. The digital network will still operate as a standalone unit within the fold and continue to be led by founder/CEO Ajaz Ahmed and chairman Tom Bedecarré. As a result of the move, the latter will also become president of a new Silicon Valley-based outfit called WPP Ventures, which will explore new digital opportunities for WPP.
Says Sorrell in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome AKQA’s unique team of technological innovators and entrepreneurs to WPP. We have admired their creativity and technological skills for a long time along with their outstandingly effective and award-winning work for clients. We are looking forward to working with Ajaz and Tom to broaden their offer and our own, both geographically and functionally. We are delighted to be united!”
Hyperbole aside, here’s a quick stat: AKQA currently has eight global offices and houses 1,160 staffers ranging from creatives and strategists to engineers and technologists. In addition, the Guardian reports that the WPP acquisition of AKQA is the “most significant deal” in the digital ad market since Publicis Groupe bought Razorfish three years ago.