WPP appoints Walmart’s Jacqui Canney as Global Chief People Officer

WPP has announced the appointment of Jacqui Canney as Global Chief People Officer, effective June 1, 2019. In this role, Canney will be responsible for WPP’s global talent organisation, making WPP the destination for the industry’s top talent and leading all aspects of people strategy, rewards, talent management, recruiting, and leadership development and learning. 

Reporting to WPP CEO Mark Read, Canney will create an integrated talent team that will work with leaders throughout the company to help build a new culture that empowers people to do their best work. 

Canney succeeds Mark Linaugh, who has decided to retire from the business and will stay on until the summer to ensure a smooth handover process. 

Canney is joining in from Walmart Inc., where, as Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer, she is responsible for attracting, retaining and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers. In 2018, Walmart had net revenues of $500.3 billion from operations in 27 countries. 

As the primary designer of the company’s people strategy, Canney has used her expertise in driving large-scale and complex change to help shape the future of retail. This includes enabling the company’s more than two million associates to change how they work in today’s technology-driven environment, in support of Walmart’s goal of becoming a people-led, tech-empowered enterprise. 

Before Walmart, Canney worked at Accenture for 25 years, helping to drive the rapid growth of the business from 21,000 people to more than 300,000, and from $1.4 billion to $32.9 billion in net revenue. In 2013, she played a key role in building a new business, Accenture Digital, by leveraging both existing and new capabilities within the company to provide new offerings to clients. 

Canney is the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Future of Work Task Force and a member of the Rework America Business Network. She also participated in the Council on Foreign Relations Future of Work Task Force. 

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, commented, “WPP is a company built on talent, and to do the best work for our clients we need to continue to attract the very best people. I am delighted that Jacqui is joining us to lead that effort. Jacqui is a world-class executive with an outstanding record of leading change at global organisations. She is also a passionate advocate of inclusive workplaces, and will play a central role as we create a strong new culture throughout WPP.” 

On joining WPP, Jacqui Canney said, “WPP has some of the best and brightest minds from around the world helping build better futures for the communities and clients they serve. I’m excited to be joining Mark and the rest of the team as they foster a culture that embraces change and invest in a workforce that believes in the power of creativity and technology to solve complex problems and transform industries.” 

On Mark Linaugh’s exit from the group, Read said, “I would like to thank Mark for his tremendous contribution to the success of WPP, and before that Ogilvy, during 16 years with the company. He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at WPP.” 

Linaugh added here, “It has been a privilege to serve alongside the wonderful people of WPP as they deliver incredible work for our clients. I am very grateful for their support, collaboration and friendship over the last 16 years, and I retire from the company knowing that their best work is still ahead of them with Mark, Jacqui and the rest of the team leading WPP’s transformation.”


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