Roberto Quarta has told the industrial group IMI that he will step down as chairman by the middle of next year in order to take up a similar role at WPP, the marketing services giant.
Quarta, a respected industrialist, will replace Philip Lader as chairman of WPP. Lader has held the job since 2001, slightly longer than corporate governance guidelines suggest as an optimal period, in order to be seen to remain fully independent.
WPP, which has been at the centre of significant shareholder revolts over the pay packages of some of its directors for two years running, will meet its self-imposed deadline of getting a chairman effectively in place by the end of the year, as recently reported in City A.M.
Quarta will initially take a non-executive director’s role before moving up to the chair midway through next year. He is leaving IMI next year to give himself more time to focus on his new commitment and his other roles, which involve being chairman of Smith & Nephew.
For Quarta, the job will involve a change of sectors, which will provide the businessman with a fresh challenge.
He will be working at WPP alongside chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, who has done wonders for the company’s growth.