Job cuts … WPP shares surged after it unveiled steep job cuts, adding nearly £7million to the fortune of ousted founder Sir Martin Sorrell.
The marketing conglomerate is to axe 3,500 jobs and shut or merge almost 200 offices in a battle to cut costs.
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It is part of a strategy unveiled by chief executive Mark Read, who replaced Sorrell after the 73-year-old was forced out earlier this year amid claims he paid for a Mayfair prostitute on company expenses, allegations he denies.
Read’s plan sent WPP shares surging 4.8 per cent, or 39p, to 844p.
It meant that the 1.4 per cent stake in the business owned by Sorrell rose in value by £6.9million.
WPP was built by Sorrell from a small manufacturing business into an advertising titan over 33 years.
With 134,000 employees dotted across more than 3,000 offices in 112 countries, WPP has become “too unwieldy, with too much duplication… not always as focused or as fleet of foot as it needs to be to satisfy the needs of all our clients”, said Read, who took over full-time in September after longtime boss left under a cloud in April.
Central to the new strategy is a simpler structure, plus a shift of emphasis and investment towards creativity and technology, Read added: “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. This is at the heart of what we do.
“We are fundamentally repositioning WPP as a creative transformation company with a simpler offer that allows us to meet the present and future needs of clients.
This more contemporary proposition has already helped us to win new business, including Volkswagen’s creative account in North America.
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