The Board of WPP AUNZ Limited has today accepted the resignation of Mr Michael Connaghan as CEO and Executive Director of the Company, with effect from 31 December 2018.
Mr Connaghan has led the company for more than a decade through a period of acquisition in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, investment and growth in new businesses, and played a key role in the merger of STW with WPP plc.
WPP AUNZ Chairman Rob Mactier said: "Mike has led the company through a period of extensive change and inspired our people to leverage our scale, global knowledge and collective know-how. It is a testament to Mike's qualities that he recognises that it is now the right time for renewal as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities that the merger and our leadership position in the market presents, particularly as the industry undergoes further transformation.
"We thank Mike for the extraordinary commitment and contribution he has made to our company over some 25 years, most notably as CEO of the business since 2006.
"The Board of WPP AUNZ and our major shareholder, WPP plc are indebted to Mike for all that he has delivered during his time with WPP AUNZ and he leaves with our collective best wishes."
Mr Connaghan said: "It has been a truly diverse experience and a privilege to serve the company; from my early days with John Singleton Advertising, through to my role as CEO of STW followed by WPP AUNZ, with $850million in revenue and more than 5,000 fantastic employees. WPP AUNZ is indeed an inspiring place to go to work every day. I am proud of the company that we have built and the talented employees and impressive calibre of clients that we have nurtured and supported. I am confident that the company will go from strength to strength."
Mr Mactier said that the Board will undertake a global search to identify a successor to Mr Connaghan, and concluded: "To best achieve continuity of leadership to deliver on the company's near term business objectives, WPP AUNZ Executive Director, John Steedman, will lead an executive steering committee during the transition phase to a new CEO. Mike will work with the committee and he will be available to the Board and committee through to March 31, 2019.