Mark Read
Mark Read

WPP today made Mark Read, who shared the COO title with Andrew Scott since the ouster of founder Martin Sorrell, CEO of the ad/PR combine.

He will be paid a $1.3M annual salary with a bonus up to 250 percent of pay, with 40 percent of it payable in shares deferred to a two-year period.

The board thanked Scott, who will continue as COO, for his efforts during the transition period.

It conducted a rigorous selection process of internal and external candidates, according to Roberta Quarta, executive chairman.

"That process, alongside Mark’s wise and effective stewardship of the business in the last few months, left us with no doubt that he is the right leader for this company, and we are delighted to announce the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint him as CEO," he said in a statement.

Quarta stressed that Read has strong support among WPP staff and clients, and lauded his digital experience gained through leadership of Wunderman, WPP's global digital firm based in New York.

"He understands the importance of culture in creating successful organizations. In short, he is in every way a 21st-century CEO," said Quarta, who will reassume his non-executive chairman role of WPP and its 130K people in 112 countries.

Read joined WPP after graduating from Cambridge. He handled IR and business development at the holding company before joining WPP's Ogilvy & Mather ad unit.

Read then departed for management consultant Booz Allen Hamilton, founded WebRewards, which was sold to Bertelsman, and rejoined WPP in 2002 as digital chief.

He became Wunderman's CEO in 2015.