WPP employs 138,000 people (including employees at our associate companies) at 2,400 offices in 107 countries. Data in this section covers the 98,759 employees from wholly-owned WPP companies.
In 2009, like all businesses in the current economy, our companies monitored staff costs closely and reduced their workforce where necessary. The total number of people in the Group, excluding associates, at 31 December 2009 was 98,759 compared with 112,663 at the end of 2008, a decrease of 13,904, or 12.3%.
Talent is everything for a professional services firm and our first priority is to attract and retain the best people in all our markets. Diversity is central to this. We can’t produce the work our clients need to be successful in today’s market without the benefit of diverse perspectives. Diversity can mean different things to people in different parts of the world. But at its core it is about fundamental respect for individuals. We are committed to giving everyone the opportunity to contribute their best effort at all times and to make sure that effort has meaningful impact and recognition.
Whatever their background and wherever they are based, people join us for the same reasons – the opportunity to apply their talent and develop their capabilities in a world-class environment and to be recognised for their achievements. As we expand in faster-growing markets we are recruiting and retaining talent on an ever more global level. Cultural sensitivities and local customs can be different, but what motivates people is the same – they want to do great work, and to work and learn with great people.
We also know that people want to work for an organisation they can take pride in. So our commitment to CR and the improvements we are making can give us an advantage in recruitment and retention. When potential employees see the steps we have taken it gives them assurance that they are joining a thoughtful organisation that thinks about its role in society and is taking a lead.
Chief talent officer,