Mark Read was named to succeed Daniel Morel as global CEO of WPP digital agency giant Wunderman, effective Feb. 1, Wunderman said Tuesday. Mr. Read is CEO at WPP Digital, a role in which he will continue, and has been chairman of Wunderman since last year. He will step down from the board of WPP as he takes on leadership at Wunderman; WPP does not plan to fill his spot on the board, it said.
Mr. Morel will become non-executive chairman, the company said.
Mr. Read has been rumored to be among the potential candidates to succeed WPP CEO Martin Sorrell one day. At WPP, he oversees a range of investments within WPP Digital, a unit within the holding company that focuses on digital deals and investments. He has also been instrumental in WPP's Stream events -- invite-only events for senior agency execs and clients around the world. In his new role, Mr. Read will be based in London but spend time in all of Wunderman's offices, in particular New York, the company said.
In WPP's annual report for year ended December 2013, the agency holding company said Wunderman was among its eight agency brands that generated worldwide revenue of $1 billion or more that year. The agency in 2013 grew its revenue 5.3% to more than $1 billion, according to the Ad Age DataCenter and the last available full year of data.
"Under Daniel's leadership, Wunderman has become a global powerhouse that is consistently ranked among the world's top digital agencies," Mr. Sorrell said in a statement. "After 14 highly successful years, he has decided it is the right time to pass the torch. As CEO of WPP Digital, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge in digital technology and its application to marketing services, as well as strong links with our new media partners."
"Wunderman is extremely well-positioned to help clients succeed in a marketing world being reshaped by companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tencent," said Mr. Read in the statement.