WPP Group is starting approaching some senior Chinese business figures about joining its board, as its last-remaining director from the second-largest economy in the world prepares to step down from his position after almost nine years.
Ruigang Li, the founder of the prolific media and entertainment investor China Media Capital, has informed her colleagues that he will not stand for re-election at the next annual meeting of the marketing services giant in June.
He has been included on the board of WPP since October 2010, meaning that he would no longer be deemed independent under corporate governance guidelines hollowing the autumn season of this year.
The departure of Ms. Li from the board will come less than a year after the other Chinese director of WPP, Hugo Shong, resigned.
Sources said that the firm is being reshaped by its new chief executive, Mark Read, as he is in talks with various prominent Chinese businesspeople about joining its board, however, that it had not “committed” to appointing someone from the country as your non-executive director.
China ranks as the fourth-largest market of the WPP by revenues, trailing behind the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Spain, It is also at the forefront of efforts of the predecessor of Mr Read, S to transform the company into the world’s biggest marketing services provider.
The principal rivals of the group are headquartered in France and the United States. It appears to have cooled on the possibility of a deal that would have seen a major Chinese technology firm acquired a stake in the operations in the country.
Last summer, Skynews reported that the FTSE 100 firm was in discussions with Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group regarding a transaction that could have raised hundreds of millions of pounds for WPP.
Insiders said that there had been little progress in the past months towards a deal, in which Li’s CMC was also a possible participant.