Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group, the world’s largest advertising entity, has brought off yet another spectacular coup!

Philip Lader, outgoing US ambassador to the Court of St James (as 21st century Britain is quaintly known in diplomatic circles) is to take over WPP’s chair, replacing Hamish Maxwell who - in his mid-seventies - investors deem too ancient for the job.

Sorrell has been casting around for some time in his quest for a heavyweight replacement for Maxwell. Insiders reported last autumn that his preferred choice, former TI chairman Sir Christopher Lewinton, was vetoed by certain major WPP shareholders [WAMN: 12-Oct-00].

Lader, a South Carolina businessman and chum of the next president of the United States and her unemployed husband, will divide his time between the US and London. He is also expected to accept a consultancy role with US investment bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

News source: The Times (London)