WPP AUNZ has announced the retirement of John Steedman as executive director of WPP AUNZ and from his executive roles as chief operating officer and executive chairman Media Investment Management with effect from 12 October 2020.
Steedman, who was appointed director of WPP AUNZ in April 2016, has enjoyed an outstanding career in the advertising business, spanning over 45 years and roles across Australia and Asia Pacific.
The board’s acknowledgment of his strong leadership and extensive industry knowledge, led to Steedman’s appointment as interim chief executive officer of WPP AUNZ from November 2018 to October 2019. Over the past 12 months, Steedman has been chief operating officer of the company.
WPP AUNZ chairman Robert Mactier said: “John has made an enormous contribution to WPP AUNZ and WPP plc as an executive and a director and his experience, advocacy and pragmatism will be greatly missed.
“John is widely respected as an industry leader in the media buying sector and as a passionate advocate on important issues including diversity and inclusion, and R U OK? suicide prevention and he is a leading voice in seeking greater accountability in online media commentary.
“John is much loved by all at WPP AUNZ and by many clients and respected leaders across the industry. We will miss his friendship and contribution, but we understand his desire to take a step back from the frontline.
“On behalf of all at WPP AUNZ, we wish John a very happy and well-deserved retirement.”
WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees said: “With his deep experience, Steady has provided invaluable support and leadership as COO over the past year as we faced the very challenging external circumstances and successfully changed our workplaces to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I have been very grateful for his contribution as we have embarked on our transformation strategy which is now well underway, and he leaves with my thanks and best wishes for the future.”
Steedman said: “It’s been an honour to serve WPP AUNZ and WPP plc for the past 45 years. Over this time, I have been greatly impressed by the calibre of talent and creativity of the people I work with and their energy to embrace change and growth.
“I have been through cycles of both positive tailwinds and tough downturns, and through each one, it is the fantastic clients and colleagues whom I have had the pleasure to work alongside, that has made this journey so rewarding and colourful.
“I have been considering retirement for a while, and now, having well and truly handed the reins over to Jens, is the right time. I wish the board and management all the very best in their future endeavours.”
Steedman has been inducted in the AdNews Hall Of Fame (2018) and the Media Federation of Australia Hall of Fame (2013).