WPP has this month poached David Henderson from Finsbury Glover Hering, the financial and corporate consultancy it owns, with a remit to establish a global corporate affairs group at the FTSE 50-listed firm.
Henderson has been a partner at Roland Rudd-led Finsbury since 2012, having previously been the UK Prime Minister’s head of research and information from 2007 to 2011. Before that he held senior roles in the Australian government. During his time at Finsbury he was seconded to its client KPMG as its global head of corporate affairs, a role that was subsequently taken by Jane Lawrie.
An international crisis management specialist, Henderson is now charged with developing policy on issues affecting WPP’s overall organisation and brand. There will be a major focus on public affairs – with Henderson leading WPP’s relationships with governments and industry bodies – and on the group’s sustainability agenda, charitable efforts and industry partnerships.
The remit will also span internal and external communications. It is understood WPP’s longstanding chief communications officer, Chris Wade, will report to Henderson alongside other specialists in policy and CSR.
Mark Read, WPP’s chief executive, told PRWeek: “I’m looking forward to working with David on further strengthening WPP’s reputation and on ensuring that we live up to our purpose and our responsibilities to our people, clients and communities. His wealth of experience across the corporate and public sector will be invaluable to helping us to achieve this and to navigate an increasingly complex environment.”
London-headquartered WPP employs more than 100,000 people across 112 countries with revenues in excess of £10bn per year. Read took the helm two years ago after Sir Martin Sorrell’s acrimonious departure and has spend the last two years slimming down the group and trying to change its culture. Now he wants a bolstered reputational function at its heart.
Henderson said: "If the world is to solve many of its most pressing problems, we will need the power of creativity. WPP is the world leader in this field and so I am thrilled to be joining its corporate centre and to working closely with its operating companies in this new role."