SYDNEY, Wednesday: A WPP AUNZ insider has told Aussie newssheet B&T that ceo Mike Connaghan’s deep roots with STW probably played a major role in his decision to quit WPP.
News of Connaghan’s shock departure coincided with a profit warning for the business that saw WPP AUNZ’s shares plunge 35% yesterday.
This comes amid industry speculation that Connaghan had been tasked with breaking up the company – something he was particularly loath to do.
“Connaghan is the son of Terry Connaghan, who started his own agency Connaghan & May in 1970, and merged it with Leo Burnett in 1991,” reported B&T’s John Bastick.
“Connaghan would’ve been tasked with breaking up the company – something he was particularly loath to do.”
“Connaghan junior took over as ceo of STW when John Singleton exited the business 12 years ago. B&T’s mole suggested the requirement of WPP AUNZ’s new ceo moving forward will be to essentially break up the old STW group,” Bastick writes.
“There are presently more than 80 different agencies within the merged STW/WPP entity and the number can no longer prove economic.
“The insider expressed doubt as to whether the task of remoulding the communications behemoth’s Australian operation was something Connaghan would have had an appetite for.
“They argued that having built the business up in increasingly challenging trading conditions, Connaghan was never going to be the guy who tore it all down in the name of global expediency.”
- Read the full B&T story here
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