A difficult two years under Ann Fudge has seen the business lose a number of international accounts and lay off 10 per cent of New York staff. Its failure to appear on global pitchlists since she moved to a Y&R Brands role just over a year ago shows how difficult plugging the gaps is going to be.
The problems exist despite pockets of strength in local markets, particularly the UK, where Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has performed strongly.
McLennan's old market of Australia is another success story, and his new bosses will want to see him call on the skills that helped him quadruple revenue in that market over the past four years.
Fudge is well connected on Capitol Hill and has a number of non-executive directorships - she sits on the board of General Electric and Catalyst, for example. Such ties mean that she continues to be an asset to WPP.