WPP appoints Microsoft’s UK boss to the board

Advertising giant WPP has appointed Cindy Rose, the boss of Microsoft’s UK business, to the board as it looks to bolster its digital offering.

Ms Rose will join WPP in April as a non-executive director.

She has run Microsoft’s UK unit since 2016, helping to transform the firm into a “leading productivity and platform company for the mobile-first, cloud-first era”.

Prior to joining the US technology giant, she led the consumer division at telecommunications firm Vodafone.

Ms Rose’s appointment to WPP’s board comes as the company battles increasing competition from Facebook and Google as more advertising shifts online and as large clients cut spending on promotions.

It also follows disappointing annual results after the FTSE 100-listed company posted a hefty drop in profit in January and warned that challenging conditions will persist into the first half of 2019.

WPP’s chairman Roberto Quarta said: “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.

“Her deep understanding of the role of technology in business transformation will be invaluable as the executive team implements its new strategy for growth.”

Ms Rose added: “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.

“I look forward to supporting the team and making a contribution at such an exciting and important moment in the company’s development.”

WPP is in the process of axing 3,500 jobs worldwide under plans to slash costs by £275 million a year as it looks to turn around its fortunes.

The company, which was rocked by the sudden departure last year of founder and chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, plans to shed under-performing parts of the business and make itself leaner.