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Ad giant WPP plans to axe thousands of jobs



Advertising giant WPP has announced a major restructuring which will see thousands of jobs cut worldwide, months after ousting long-serving boss Sir Martin Sorrell.

WPP said the shake-up, described by new chief executive Mark Read as a “radical evolution”, aimed to cut annual costs by £275m a year. It is expected to cost £300m to carry out.

The company, which currently employs more than 130,000 people globally including 14,000 in the UK, will lose around 3,500 jobs in areas of duplication and hire a further 1,000 to boost its technology and creative credentials.

The job cuts will largely affect administration roles as WPP looks to merge 100 offices and close a further 80 sites. WPP did not give a regional breakdown of where the axe would fall.

Shares in the company, which has lost 40% of its value in the last year, rose 6% on the update.

Former head of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell spoke to Ian King about Brexit, new businesses and leaving the company he founded.


Former head of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell spoke to Ian King about leaving the company he founded, and also discussed Brexit.

The company has over recent months been forced to cut its sales and profit forecasts after it lost work from some major clients and others cut their spending.

Last week, Sir Martin told Sky News that he was “2-0 up” against his former employer after he snapped up two businesses in his efforts to build up his new company S4 Capital – a much smaller venture which he admitted would “collide” with WPP in some areas.

In its strategy update, WPP said it was looking to create a “simpler, improved offer” with a “streamlined structure built around the needs of clients”.

Mr Read said: “The restructuring of our business will enable increased investment in creativity, technology and talent, enhancing our capabilities on the categories with the greatest potential for future growth.”

WPP aims to reinvest around half its cost savings into the business over the next two years as it repositions itself as a “creative transformation company” with a greater emphasis on technology.

The company added that for 2018, full-year underlying like-for-like revenues were expected to fall by close to 0.5% – an improvement on the 1% decline predicted in October.

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