WPP appoints Bessie Lee to CEO, WPP China

13 Dec 2012

WPP today announces the appointment of Bessie Lee to the newly created role of CEO, WPP China. Ms. Lee, who is currently CEO of GroupM China, will transition into her new position in early 2013.

In her new role, Ms. Lee will be responsible for mobilizing WPP companies and resources across disciplines, for the benefit of both multinational and national clients. Further, Ms. Lee will help identify new business opportunities, potential acquisitions and investments, as well as support the Group’s ongoing efforts to attract and retain the best talent in China. Ms. Lee will report to Scott Spirit, WPP’s chief strategy officer.

"Bessie has done a fantastic job in building GroupM China into not only the leading media agency group in China, but one of GroupM’s strongest operations globally,” said WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell. “We look forward to her lending her considerable expertise and experience across WPP to accelerate the growth of all areas of our business in China.”

TB Song, WPP Chairman for Greater China, will continue to play a senior advisory role for the Group alongside his role as Ogilvy Chairman for Greater China. WPP is the leading marketing communications group in China, with more than 14,000 people and revenues of US$1.3 billion. Greater China is WPP’s third largest market after the United States and United Kingdom. GroupM, WPP’s media investment management arm, is the largest media agency group in China with billings of over US$5 billion and market share in excess of 30%, according to RECMA.

Ms. Lee has been working across WPP companies for more than 20 years, starting her career in Taiwan with JWT’s media division and subsequently moving to Mindshare in China. Ms. Lee has led GroupM China since 2006.

“It has been an amazing 23 years, during which I’ve had the honour of working alongside some of the best people in the media industry, many of them at GroupM,” Ms. Lee said. “I am excited about the new challenges in my new role at WPP, and I leave GroupM China with the knowledge that the agency has the people and the momentum in place to move to the next level.”

Dominic Proctor, global President of GroupM, said, “GroupM owes Bessie a huge debt of gratitude. She has led a highly talented team to great success to become the leading media agency group in China, and we look forward to building on that.”

The search for a replacement for Ms. Lee is currently underway. This process is being led by Mark Patterson, CEO of GroupM Asia Pacific. “My priority is to identify a very high calibre candidate to fill Bessie’s shoes and to lead the highly experienced team we have in China, with the full support of the AP regional and worldwide teams, to achieve their ambitions,” he said. 

For further information:
Belinda Rabano
WPP Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific
Email: [email protected]  
Mobile: +86 1360 107 8488

About WPP
WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of $77.1 billion and revenues of $16.1 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising; media investment management; consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; and specialist communications. The company employs over 162,000 people (including associates) in 3,000 offices across 110 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com
WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the second year running.