Just ten days after taking over from Sir Martin Sorrell as top dog at WPP, new boss Mark Read has wasted little time in promoting Mel Edwards – one of his closest allies – to succeed him as global chief executive of Wunderman.
Edwards cut her teeth in the business at many of the DM industry’s founding agencies, including MRM, Smith Bundy, GGT Direct and TBWA/GGT, before joining Lida in 2000 as an account director, ultimately rising up the ranks to CEO of the M&C Saatchi-owned business.
She first joined Wunderman in 2012, succeeding Brendan Tansey as UK chief executive. But when Read took over the Wunderman global role from Daniel Morrel in 2015, one of his first moves was to promote her to Wunderman CEO of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In her new role, Edwards will be in charge of 9,200 staff, looking after clients such as Shell, News Corporation and EY.
Since joining the business, she has has been instrumental in helping to win and retain some of the agency’s largest clients including Shell, BT Group, EY and Samsung Europe.
Edwards has also overseen a massive shake-up of senior staff in London, launched on-site solution Wunderman Inside and has been heavily involved in bringing sister agencies Cognifide, Salmon, Burrows, Possible and Acceleration together under one roof.
Read said: “Mel is an exceptional leader who demonstrated her ability to build the business by winning new clients and developing existing ones, attracting top talent and integrating technology into our offer. The agency has become a powerhouse in Europe and I have every confidence that it will continue its success globally with her leadership of an outstanding team around the world.”
Edwards added: “Wunderman is a place that empowers people to do their best work and attracts today’s brightest talent. I’m proud to accept this new responsibility as global CEO and I’m excited to work with the people of Wunderman to drive the agency forward – combining our creative, data and technology capabilities to deliver the best work and results for our clients.”
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