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WPP’s chief executive Mark Read has discussed his experiences and thoughts around driving digital transformation within the business and for clients, as well as his own views on how technology can be an enabler.

Speaking to The Drum’s editor, Stephen Lepitak in an interview that will be streamed today as part of The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival,  he denies previous reports that the word ‘digital’ has been banned within WPP.  He explains that it has attempted to stop using the word in an attempt to offset thoughts that parts of the business are analogue: “What we want to do is to be precise and talk about technology which is at the heart of digital transformation,” he explains. “Given the changes in technology, how do you need to think about the strategy, the structure, the operations of a company to deal effectively with innovation to deliver to consumers?”

Continuing to discuss the term ‘digital transformation’, he adds his belief that one of the biggest changes is that while companies are organised vertically, consumers experience them horizontally, and through digital transformation, companies are attempting to “realign” their functions to deliver customer needs and services.

During the interview Read also discusses digital transformation efforts made internally in WPP to help it function in recent weeks during the coronavirus pandemic and how he views recently adopted practices continuing when employees return to work as before.

The 20-minute conversation can be viewed on The Drum website as part of The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival, which has been running online in recent weeks with interviews and panel sessions focused around different aspects of technological transformation. The schedule for further interviews to stream this week can also be found in The Digital Transformation section of the site.