Vodafone poaches WPP's Wheldon for top marketing role

WPP has been dealt a blow with the news that David Wheldon, the group chief executive officer of its Team Vodafone division, is to join Vodafone.

Wheldon, who is on a year's notice, will take on a senior role reporting to the global brand director, David Haines. The post will see him installed above Vodafone's global marketing communications director, Neil Simpson.

Wheldon was recently responsible for marshalling two creative groups from J. Walter Thompson and Red Cell to challenge Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam's position as the lead creative agency on the £250 million global Vodafone account.

Until now, WPP, through JWT, has acted as Vodafone's global network, with W&K as the creative supplier, providing the overall strategy.

Before joining WPP, Wheldon held the post of UK chief executive for the Tempus-owned CIA Medianetwork.

His CV, which extends across both the creative agency and client arenas, includes stints as the global head of marketing and latterly the European marketing director for Coca-Cola. Before being offered the role at CIA, he was the president of BBDO Europe and has been a managing partner at WCRS and the managing director of Lowe Howard-Spink.