WPP Promotes two Operating Company Executives to new roles

11 Aug 2006

WPP, one of the leading global communication services companies, is promoting two of its operating company CEOs to new roles within the group. Dave Allen, Global CEO of Enterprise IG, and one of the most experienced corporate branding consultants in the industry, will become CEO of Team Vodafone, through which more than 30 WPP companies develop marketing programmes for Vodafone.

Simon Bolton, Group CEO of JWT UK and Ireland for the past five years, will become CEO of Enterprise IG, one of the world’s leading brand and identity consultancies with clients such as BP, Credit Suisse, Unilever and Vodafone.

Craig Branigan, who runs the B to D Group within WPP, said, "Simon has the skills to motivate people and build businesses. He has a good knowledge of WPP and is very familiar with the US and Asian markets where the growth potential for Enterprise IG is huge. I look forward to him spearheading our new business drive in those regions and other parts of the world."

Bolton, who will be based in London, will start his new role in late January and will be charged with maintaining Enterprise IG’s leading market position and growing the business in North America and the burgeoning Asian region.

Allen, who has been running Team Vodafone part-time for the past 12 months, takes up the full-time appointment from 1 January. He will be based at JWT’s offices (JWT is the lead advertising agency on the global Vodafone business) at 1 Knightsbridge Green, London. He is a founder partner of Enterprise IG and was responsible for building the company that today spans 21 offices in 17 countries.

Mark Read, WPP’s Director of Strategy, commented, "Dave is one of the founding fathers of Enterprise IG. He built it from a series of acquisitions and moulded it into one company. He is passionate about working with clients and already has close ties with Vodafone which will make for a smooth transition to his new role. At Enterprise IG, I have every confidence that Simon will take the company to its next stage of development. He has the right blend of international experience and with his energy and drive he can motivate people to manage and win multinational clients’ business."

At JWT, Bolton was responsible for growing the company to the second largest UK agency, on the back of wins including HSBC, Kingsmill, Tourism Ireland and B&Q, and for raising its creative profile which resulted in winning top industry awards for Vodafone, Smirnoff and Golden Wonder among others.

Before joining JWT Bolton was President and Chief Executive of Foote Cone and Belding, San Francisco from 1998 to April 2001.During that time he managed the agency to the number one position on the West Coast following a string of new business gains. Prior to that he was with FCB in Malaysia where he managed acquisition and development of the network across South East Asia. His career began at Ogilvy & Mather, London, in 1982 where he remained for 13 years except for a three year stint in Thailand. He was promoted to Worldwide Management Supervisor in 1992 and was responsible for the agency’s American Express and Shell accounts.

Said Bolton, "This is a fantastic new opportunity for me and I am looking forward to building on the legacy that Dave has created. The key priority will be to develop the company’s culture in other markets outside of Europe and strengthen relationships with multinational business on a global and regional basis."

Allen was one of the original founders of Enterprise IG and has been responsible for driving its growth both through acquisition and organically. He joined WPP when Sampson Tyrrell was acquired in 1986. His clients in the past 20 years have included BP, Capital Research and Management, Castrol, Citizen, KPMG, Mazda, Saab, Safeway, Shell and most recently Vodafone.

His new role as CEO of Team Vodafone will involve co-ordinating the WPP companies working on the business. He will drive best practice on the business and focus on the client relationship.

"One of the biggest intellectual challenges at WPP is these team roles and my real passion is working closely with clients." said Allen.