WPP China has named Patrick Xu as its new chief executive officer following the departure of Bessie Lee. The current GroupM CEO will officially take over the holding company leadership on May 2.
Xu will continue to oversee GroupM China in a dual role and will be based in Shanghai. Prior to joining WPP in 2014, Xu was general manager of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan at Mondelez International, and before then worked at Danone China.
WPP global chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Patrick’s role will have a special emphasis on horizontality and ensuring our business is localised and more relevant to Chinese clients, partners and staff.”
He added:” I want to thank Bessie for the many years of commitment to WPP and I am sure many of our colleagues will continue to work with her as she pursues a career as an entrepreneur in China.”
Lee leaves the holding company to focus on Withinlink, a China-based startup incubator and early-stage venture fund she founded. She has been the China CEO since 2013 and has been with WPP for a total of 27 years. Lee also served as the CEO of GroupM China.