WPP's Mark Read on digital transformation and steering the business through Covid-19

By The Drum Team | Staff Writer



Digital Transformation Festival article

April 6, 2020 | 3 min read

WPP’s chief executive Mark Read has discussed his experiences and thoughts around driving digital transformation within the business and for clients, as well as his own views on how technology can be an enabler.

Speaking to The Drum’s editor, Stephen Lepitak in an interview that will be streamed today as part of The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival, he denied previous reports that the word ‘digital’ had been banned within WPP.

He explained how the business has simply attempted to stop using the word in an attempt to offset thoughts that parts of the business are analogue: “What we want to do is to be precise and talk about technology which is at the heart of digital transformation,” he explains.

Mark Read, WPP

WPP chief Mark Read discusses digital transformation and steering the business through Covid-19

“Given the changes in technology, how do you need to think about the strategy, the structure, the operations of a company to deal effectively with innovation to deliver to consumers?”

Continuing to discuss the term ‘digital transformation’, he cited his belief that one of the biggest changes is that, while companies are organised vertically, consumers experience them horizontally and through digital transformation, companies are attempting to “realign” their functions to deliver customer needs and services.

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During the interview Read also discussed digital transformation efforts made internally in WPP to help it function in recent weeks, during the coronavirus pandemic, and how he views recently adopted practices continuing when employees return to work as before.

The 20-minute conversation can be viewed on The Drum website as part of our ongoing Digital Transformation Festival, which has been running online in recent weeks with interviews and panel sessions focused around different aspects of technological transformation.

The schedule for further interviews to stream this week can also be found here.


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