Q&A: Behind Mark Read’s Plans to Protect WPP’s People, Clients and Future

Holding company CEO is optimistic despite obvious challenge ahead

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Nearly two years into his gig as WPP’s CEO, Mark Read is now faced with the challenge of guiding the massive holding company through a global pandemic.

Of all the major holding companies, WPP has perhaps been the most transparent about the steps it’s taking internally to cut costs. Last week, WPP said it is freezing new hires, reviewing freelance spend and stopping “discretionary” costs, which include travel, hotels and awards show payments.

The company, which counts the likes of Wunderman Thompson, Ogilvy, Grey, GroupM and Mindshare under its purview, is also postponing planned salary increases for 2020.

Speaking with Adweek, Read said he’s hopeful that WPP’s various agencies will find a way through this.




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