WPP chief executive Mark Read has set out his three-year turnaround plan for the holding company, pledging to deliver a ‘renewed commitment to creativity’ and further invest in talent in order to kickstart growth.
Revealing the first glimpse of his long-awaited strategy update, Read proposes to position WPP as a market leader in creativity and technology by streamlining its "unweildy" structure and better integrating its agency networks in order to become more agile within a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Over the coming three-year period WPP will invest £15m per year incrementally in creative leadership, with a particular emphasis being placed on the US market.
This strategy of ‘radical evolution’ is expected to deliver organic growth of 15% at a minimum by 2021 but will incur restructuring costs of £300m over the period to attain. That will lead to some 3,500 job cuts worldwide, it has been reported, though the company has pledged to make 1,000 new hires.
Read said: "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.
"The restructuring of our business will enable increased investment in creativity, technology and talent, enhancing our capabilities in the categories with the greatest potential for future growth.
"We describe our approach as 'radical evolution': radical because we are taking decisive action and implementing major change; evolution because we will achieve this while respecting the things that make WPP the great company it is today."
By 2021 WPP expects to be delivering annual savings of £275m, half of which will be reinvested in the business.
The first moves to make this vision a reality have already taken place with the merger of JWT and Wunderman.