Karen Blackett joins WPP as first UK country manager

WPP has finally decided on its first country manager for the UK and it’s to be Karen Blackett, chairwoman of its biggest media agency Mediacom. The previous leading candidate, GroupM UK boss Nick Theakstone, is moving up at the WPP buying operation instead, becoming global chief investment officer, based in London and New York.

Blackett, who will retain her current role as chairwoman of MediaCom UK for six months, has been appointed with immediate effect. She will oversee 17,000 staff in dozens of agencies spanning media, creative, design, branding, data and public relations across WPP’s £2 billion-a-year UK operation.

Blackett will also support efforts to attract and retain the “best and most diverse talent”, generate cross-Group business opportunities and identify potential acquisitions and investments.

“Karen is known throughout and well beyond our industry as an exceptional and inspirational leader. Not only has she been central to the success of MediaCom – the UK’s largest media agency – she has also been a tireless champion of diversity in our business, in the wider sector and in public life in general,” Sorrell said.