In this file photo taken on August 23, 2017, the WPP company plaque is cleaned outside the offices of British advertising giant WPP in London on August 23, 2017. -Photo: AFP/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
In this file photo taken on August 23, 2017, the WPP company plaque is cleaned outside the offices of British advertising giant WPP in London on August 23, 2017. -Photo: AFP/DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

London — Global advertising company WPP unveiled a new growth plan on Tuesday and says it will axe 2,500 jobs as it moves on from the controversial exit of former boss Martin Sorrell.

The company, which is struggling to compete with US technology titans Google and Facebook, said  it hopes to return WPP to growth after a strategic review.

The three-year overhaul will cost WPP £300m, but seeks to save £275m annually by the end of 2021.

WPP will slash 3,500 jobs at its operations but will create 1,000 positions elsewhere, according to people familiar with the matter. The move will largely affect administration roles as the firm seeks to merge 100 offices and shut 80 sites.

WPP employs more than 130,000 people worldwide, of which 14,000 are in Britain.

“The restructuring of our business will enable increased investment in creativity, technology and talent, enhancing our capabilities in the categories with the greatest potential for future growth,” said CEO Mark Read, who took the reins in September.

“As well as improving our offer and creating opportunities for clients, this investment will drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders.”

The London-listed group has been in turmoil since Sorrell sensationally quit earlier in 2018 amid allegations of personal misconduct. WPP faced fresh woe in October after issuing a gloomy warning over weaker sales for 2018.