London — WPP named company veteran Mark Read as its new CEO on Monday to steer the world’s biggest advertising firm through a period of change following the acrimonious exit of its founder, Martin Sorrell. Fifty-one-year-old Read takes charge of the $21bn company at a tough time following a year-long sharp downturn in trading sparked by competition from Google and Facebook and pressure from clients to simplify the business and cut pricing. He also knows that Sorrell, still a major WPP shareholder and his one-time mentor, will be looking over his shoulder. Sorrell wrote to Read and new COO Andrew Scott to wish them well, a person familiar with the matter said. Sorrell, 73, has set up a new company which in July beat WPP in the race to buy a Dutch digital agency. Read, who joined WPP in 1989, said the industry is going through "structural change, not structural decline". He plans to rejuvenate WPP by combining the power of its creative agencies with better technology and analytics. "I...

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