Blackett will become the face of the world’s biggest advertising group in the UK after taking up the post with immediate effect. She will remain in her current position as chairwoman of MediaCom UK for a sixth month transition period.
In the role Blackett is well placed to make good on her pledge to build on WPP’s dominant position in UK advertising by identifying organic growth opportunities to boost its market share from 40% at present - particularly in high growth areas like e-commerce.
Blackett, who is president of industry charity Nabs, will also use her hard-won status to promote greater diversity within the ad industry.
Lauding Blackett’s appointment WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Karen will focus on our core strategic priority of horizontality: ensuring our companies work together effectively and present a seamlessly integrated and simplified offer to clients.
"She will also support efforts to attract and retain the best and most diverse talent, generate cross-group business opportunities and identify potential acquisitions and investments.”
Blackett’s elevation dovetails with the naming of Tom George as chief executive of GroupM, WPP’s media-buying arm.