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Leadership changes at Research International

30 October, 2003

Research International – the world’s leading custom market research network and part of WPP’s information and consultancy division The Kantar Group - today announced senior leadership changes.

Jon Wilkinson, who has led the Research International Group as its Chairman and CEO since 1995, has announced his intention to retire in June 2004. In Jon’s place, Roger Banks - currently CEO Mainland Europe will become Group CEO and report into Kantar CEO Eric Salama. Colin Buckingham – currently CEO of the UK company – will take on a new role as CEO, Global Business, reporting to Roger. Colin will have management and profit responsibility for the Group’s main streams of transnational business – including key international clients and for the qualitative network, Research International Qualitatif.

In addition to these changes, Mark Penn, will become Non-Executive Chairman of the Group. Best known as President Clinton’s pollster, Mark is President of Penn Schoen and Berland, and has extensive experience of working with clients at the highest level.

According to Eric Salama Chairman and CEO of Kantar:

“Research International has introduced a series of important strategic changes over the past few years. The positive impact of these changes has begun to come through, but competition is tough and client expectations and demands have increased. We need to make further changes to the orientation of the company and to the structures which govern it. I’m delighted with the new team and with the changes that they are introducing to the way they run the business. Clients will understandably want to see the plan take shape, but when they do they will be thrilled.”

Roger Banks, Research International’s incoming CEO added:

“We want to create an organisation which truly puts clients centre stage, which uses clear, global structures to deliver against their needs and which drives critical initiatives quickly and effectively through the business world-wide. In order to do this, we are currently on a programme to hire the best talent we can find globally – from a broad range of marketing services backgrounds, not only market research. We feel this will place us in pole position to offer the very best service and enable our clients to achieve their goals."

The changes will be progressively implemented between now and May 2004, as the team takes up new responsibilities and transitions existing ones. Further announcements will be made once the details are confirmed.

Acrobat Document ResearchInternational_PressRelease_LeadershipChang.pdf

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