WPP Names Microsoft U.K. Chief as Newest Board Member

Cindy Rose will serve on the audit committee

Rose was previously with Vodafone. - Credit by WPP
Headshot of Erik Oster

WPP has named the newest member of its board.

The holding company appointed Cindy Rose OBE, U.K. CEO for longtime WPP client Microsoft, to its board as a non-executive director, effective April 1. She will serve as a member of the audit committee.

“WPP has set out a bold new vision for its future as a creative transformation company, with a commitment to invest in talent, technology and culture,” Rose said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting the team and making a contribution at such an exciting and important moment in the company’s development.”

“Cindy is one of the most admired and respected figures in the technology industry, and we are delighted to welcome her to the WPP board,” added WPP chairman Roberto Quarta. “Her deep understanding of the role of technology in business transformation will be invaluable as the executive team implements its new strategy for growth.”

Rose has served as Microsoft U.K. CEO since 2016, responsible for the all of the company’s product, service and support offerings in the U.K. Prior to joining Microsoft, she served as managing director for the U.K. division of Vodafone, where she helped expand its retail footprint from 350 to over 500 stores.

She has also served as executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media and previously spent 15 years in various roles at The Walt Disney Company, including senior vice president, managing director of Disney Interactive Media Group, EMEA. She joined the board of academic publishing and events company Informa as an independent non-executive director in 2013.

Rose’s appointment is the latest in a series of sweeping changes at WPP that began with the departure of former CEO Sir Martin Sorrell last April. Mark Read, formerly Wunderman CEO, officially took over the chief executive role in September, after initially serving as co-COO alongside Andrew Scott, who retained the COO position. Read made his first three executive appointments the following month, shortly after WPP announced it was merging VML and Y&R to create VMLY&R.

In November, the holding company followed up with the creation of Wunderman Thompson out of combination of Wunderman and the world’s oldest ad agency, J. Walter Thompson. During an investor day conference in December, Read revealed WPP’s plans to cut 3,500 jobs as it focuses on creative and data and he recently hinted that more changes are on the horizon. Last week, WPP appointed Wunderman veteran Judy Jackson to the new role of global head of culture.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
Publish date: March 12, 2019 https://dev.adweek.com/agencies/wpp-names-microsoft-u-k-chief-as-newest-board-member/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT