HENLEY-ON-THAMES: Mike Waterson, chairman and controlling shareholder of the World Advertising Research Center (pictured), is stepping down from the WARC helm with immediate effect in favour of Steve White, a former senior executive with CBS, McGraw-Hill and The Thomson Corporation.

Says Waterson: "It is really great good fortune that Steve has agreed to join the business at this important juncture in its development.

"His arrival brings major-league strategic business leadership to the management team and I am absolutely confident that he will quickly establish the plans necessary to build on WARC's success so far and lead a new phase of strong growth for the future." 

In a second major appointment, Rufus Olins (left), managing director of Haymarket Brand Media, joins WARC as chief executive. A former journalist at The Sunday Times and Campaign magazine, he has latterly overseen a raft of Haymarket titles such as Campaign, Marketing and Media Week.

Robin Sutton, current managing director of WARC, has decided to take a planned retirement over the next eighteen months. He will remain in his present role to oversee the handover to Mr Olins, after which he will assume responsibility for the company's financial publications and other special projects."

Waterson, meantime, remains WARC's majority shareholder and has other irons in the fire, in particular the development of additional WARC-style electronic businesses.

Says he: "While I relinquish my day-to-day involvement in the business I remain a director and will stay closely in touch with the plans as they evolve. I am very excited about what this means for the future of WARC and am looking forward to seeing the business prosper under its new team."

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff