Creative advertising giant WPP to cut thousands of jobs

Sian Bradley's picture
Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer

London-based advertising firm WPP is slashing 3,500 jobs, in a bid to reshape the business with tech as a priority. 

The advertiser has pledged to spend £300m over the next three years to help simplify the business. This includes closing down under-performing offices and cutting overlapping jobs - with a goal to save £275m annually by 2021.

Mark Read, who was appointed as WPP’s chief executive in September 2018, commented on the decision: “What we hear from clients is very consistent: they want our creativity, and they want us to help them transform their business in a world reshaped by technology.”

 

The hope is that this will help position WPP as a competior to the tech giants; companies wherein a healthy chunk of the profits come from advertising.

WPP have already been making new appointments with tech in mind. Publicis Groupe's Laurent Ezekiel was given the newly created role of chief marketing and growth officer in December 2018. With a background in technology and client-facing experiences, Ezekiel was an ideal hire to head up WPP’s aims to shift its focus to tech.

Ezekiel will split his time between New York and London, where he will focus on communications, experience, commerce and technology. It was reported that he has invested £15m in hiring creative talent, particularly in the US.