WPP AUNZ has revealed that current CEO and executive director Mike Connaghan will exit the business at the end of 2018, following 12 years with the business and 25 years at the network in total.
Connaghan has led the business for more than a decade, previously at STW - with the role morphing into CEO of WPP AUNZ - following the holding group's merger with STW in 2016.
In an email to staff today obtained by AdNews, Connaghan said it was with "mixed feelings" that he announces his resignation as CEO.
"I have agreed with the board that now the merger is complete, it is time for new leadership," he said.
"I'm immensely proud of our people and the exceptional work we deliver day in and day out for our clients. We've made a lot of progress in some challenging times and I feel honoured to have worked with you all."
The merger of WPP and STW in Australia created an $850 million business.
A global search for Connaghan's replacement has begun, as executive director John Steedman steps in to lead the executive committee over the coming months.
Despite WPP AUNZ confirming that Connaghan's official departure date from the CEO role will be 31 December, he added that he will be "available to the board and committee" through to 31 March.
"Mike has led the company through a period of extensive change and inspired our people to leverage our scale, global knowledge and collective know how," WPP AUNZ chairman Rob Mactier says.
"It is a testament to Mike's qualities that he recognises that it is now the right time for renewal as we seek to capitalise on the opportunities that the merger and our leadership position in the market presents, particularly as the industry undergoes further transformation."
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