WPP AUNZ chief’s exit ‘a shock’

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SYDNEY: Monday: WPP AUNZ ceo Mike Connaghan, who headed the company on both sides of the Tasman, has resigned after 12 years, and will leave at the end of 2018.

The Sydney-based adman has led the business for over a decade through a period of acquisition throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and played a key role in the merger of STW with WPP.

The resignation has been described in the Aussie trade media as “unexpected” and “a shock”. But so far, Connaghan has yet to elaborate on his reasons for leaving, and his plans for the future.

WPP AUNZ’s Sydney-based chairman Rob Mactier simply issued a soothing statement to Australian media: “Mike has led the company through a period of extensive change and inspired our people to leverage our scale, global knowledge and collective know how. 

“Connaghan has yet to elaborate on his reasons for leaving, and his plans for the future.”

“It is a testament to Mike’s qualities that he recognises that it is now the right time for renewal as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities that the merger and our leadership position in the market presents, particularly as the industry undergoes further transformation.”

No statement has been forthcoming from any NZ WPP agencies (of whom there are many, including Assignment, Colmar Brunton, Designworks, MediaCom, Ogilvy, JWT and VMLY&R).

Connaghan said: ”It has been a truly diverse experience and a privilege to serve the company, from my early days with John Singleton Advertising, through to my role as ceo of STW followed by WPP AUNZ, with A$850m in revenue and more than 5000 fantastic employees.

“WPP AUNZ is indeed an inspiring place to go to work every day. I am proud of the company that we have built and the talented employees and impressive calibre of clients that we have nurtured and supported. I am confident that the company will go from strength to strength.”

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