WPP has hired Rob Reilly as its new Chief Creative Officer. He comes from the McCann Worldgroup, where he has been global creative chairman since 2014.
He is taking on his new position as a holding company that includes agencies such as AKQA Group, Ogilvy and VMLY & R, continuing his turnaround plan that CEO Mark Read implemented in 2018. Part of this strategy involves investing in creativity. In 2018, the company announced it would dedicate £ 15 million ($ 20.48 million) per year to creative leadership through 2021.
“Mark’s goal is to make WPP the most creative company in the world. It was impossible for a creative person to resist, ”Reilly said in a statement. “He is completely reinventing WPP and is committed to ensuring that creativity is at the heart of everything the company does.”
According to WPP, Reilly will work with the CEOs and Chief Creative Officers of the WPP agencies to “foster creativity inside and outside the company and foster a culture that provides exceptional work for WPP’s clients.”
He will also be charged with “attracting and nurturing the best creative talent, fostering inclusion and diversity in creative work and teams, and working with technology partners to foster the creativity required for their platforms.” He begins his new role at May.
Bring a successful legacy to WPP
Under his direction at McCann Worldgroup, the New York office of the agency Fearless Girl created a statue for State Street Global Advisors, which symbolizes female leadership and stood opposite the Charging Bull on Wall Street. The campaign won several Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions and became a viral sensation.
He also oversaw the work for clients such as Ikea, Mastercard, Microsoft and Verizon. In 2019, Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad “Changing the Game” won several industry awards. Prior to joining McCann Worldgroup, Reilly served as CPB’s global chief creative officer.
“After seven very successful years at McCann Worldgroup, Rob has unfortunately decided to move on to the next chapter of his career with a competitor,” said Bill Kolb, chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, in a statement. “Rob has helped build an incredible bank of creative leadership for each of our agency brands and has contributed so much to our creative success. I thank him for his countless contributions and wish him all the best in his new role. ”
In a statement, read Reilly as “one of the world’s most famous creative leaders” and add that he “is delighted that Rob is joining us to make WPP synonymous with the most creative, effective and forward-looking work in the world – and at a time when this has never been more important to our customers. ”
As with most advertising holding companies, WPP’s sales have slumped last year due to the financial impact of the pandemic on customers.