Mark Read
Tolga Akmen
United Kingdom




With the pandemic forcing advertisers of every ilk to cut back spending, the longtime U.K. ad man has been regarded as a barometer of sorts for the health of the marketing industry and where its billions may flow next as consumers flock to mobile, digital and streaming media. With WPP, one of the world’s largest advertising conglomerates, since 1989, he has been leading the company for the past two years through an era in which all the traditional elements of the business are evolving due to new consumer habits spurred by technology. So when he told CNBC in August that things will improve, he opened the chance for many businesses to hope for better times after the onset of a devastating pandemic-struck economy.


  • Booz Allen & Hamilton
  • Wunderman Thompson


  • Cambridge University (UK)
  • INSEAD (France)

Variety Honors

  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2019 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2020 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

WPP Will Combine Big Agency Grey With AKQA, Drop Storied Name

WPP Will Combine Big Agency Grey With AKQA, Drop Storied Name

The end of Madison Avenue's Grey Global is being displayed in black and white.British advertising giant WPP said it would combine the large advertising agency with the digital-marketing company AKQA, the latest in efforts by CEO Mark Read to streamline the company as more consumers adopt mobile and digital technologies and spend more time with non-traditional media.The new AKQA Group  will employ 6,000 people in more than 50 countries, and work for clients including Procter & Gamble, Kellogg Co., Netflix,...


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