WPP names Karen Blackett as new UK chief
The world’s biggest advertising group WPP named Karen Blackett OBE as the new President of its UK business.
Blackett currently serves as UK CEO of GroupM, WPP’s media investment business, alongside her role as UK Country Manager for WPP.
She will step down from GroupM to focus full-time on WPP, and her successor as UK CEO of GroupM will be announced in due course.
“I took on the GroupM role in the first week of lockdown in 2020, with a focus on guiding the business through the pandemic and beginning the transformation of GroupM in the UK,” Blackett said. “We’ve made huge progress and achieved so much in those two and a half years and I’m delighted to be able to hand the baton to a new leader with the organisation in good health.”
Calling the UK “an important market for WPP,” where it has 12,000 people and revenues of more than £2bn, Blackett said she was excited to take on the leadership role.
Last month WPP hiked its full-year net sales outlook, anticipating buoyant spending by clients.
The London-listed firm said it now anticipates net sales to grow six to seven per cent in 2022, on a like for like basis. This was an adjustment upwards from a previous forecast of 5.5-6.5 per cent.
It comes as net sales for the first six months of the year leapt 12.5 per cent to £5.5bn.
The company has also made a number of investments, including snapping up Dutch ecommerce consultancy Newcraft.
The 155-strong business will join the Wunderman Thompson global network, bolstering out the firm’s presence in Northern Europe and digital commerce capabilities.
“With consumer behaviours and use of new ecommerce channels continuing to change at a rapid pace, brands need innovative solutions to reach customers and new audiences,” Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said about the deal.
“As we continue to invest in growth areas, Newcraft’s extensive experience of transforming the digital offering of some of Europe’s leading companies will further strengthen our global commerce proposition and drive results for clients.”