WPP considers IBM’s David Kenny for top job

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

August 12, 2018 | 3 min read

WPP is reported to have interviewed the head of IBM’s Watson and Cloud platform as a potential successor to Sir Martin Sorrell as chief executive.

According to Sky News, WPP approached senior executive David Kenny for the top job. He was interviewed in New York last month by WPP chairman Roberto Quarta and the WPP board.

Kenny has previously headed up the Weather Company before it was acquired by IBM in 2016, co-founded ad agency Digitas and was the managing partner of VivaKi, part of the Publicis Groupe.

David Kenny

David Kenny, briefly in the frame for WPP's top job

However, an IBM spokesperson told Sky that Kenny has since “confirmed he is not a candidate for this role".

According to several reports, industry veteran Hamish McLennan had also been interviewed but is thought to be no longer in contention.

The leading candidate is Mark Read, currently the joint chief operating officer.

An announcement on Sorrell's successor is expected around 4 September, the time of its half-year results update.

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