WPP today announces the appointment of Frank-Michael ‘FM’ Schmidt, CEO of Scholz & Friends Family, as the first President of its German business.
In leading WPP’s third largest market, FM will be instrumental in shaping the company’s business in Germany, supporting agency leadership teams and promoting a strong WPP culture. From 1 January 2023, when he officially steps into the role, he will be responsible for bringing together the best talent and resources from across the company and connecting the capabilities of WPP’s 7,000 people in the market to deliver transformational growth for clients.
Alongside his new position at WPP, FM will remain in post as CEO of the award-winning Scholz & Friends Family which is part of the VMLY&R network and whose clients include VW, McDonald’s, Sparkasse and the Federal Republic of Germany. He will also continue to serve on VMLY&R’s global leadership team, a role he has held since 2021.
FM joined the WPP network in 1998 at J. Walter Thompson, later becoming Chief Strategy Officer of its German business. He moved to Scholz & Friends in 2003 as CEO in Germany and was later appointed CEO of the Scholz & Friends Family, operating across the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), in 2008. Originally from Berlin, FM studied political science, philosophy and communication science at the Freie Universität Berlin and began his career as a journalist before moving into marketing and communications.
FM Schmidt, President of WPP in Germany, said: “I am delighted to become President of WPP in Germany and I see this first-ever appointment as a strong signal of the increasing importance of the German market. It is an exciting task to find common interests and to create common ground between our strong agency brands to unlock the full potential of WPP’s capabilities for the benefit of both our clients and our people. I am very much looking forward to opening a new chapter for WPP in Germany, together with some of the brightest minds in our industry.”
Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “FM’s exceptional track record at Scholz & Friends Family, his valuable contribution to the WPP network over the last 24 years, and his extensive knowledge of the German market make him the natural fit for this important role in our third largest market.”
Andrew Scott, COO of WPP, said: “Having worked with FM for a number of years, I am certain that under his leadership our people and agencies will be supported in continuing to deliver outstanding creative work. I look forward to working with him in his new role as we further drive growth opportunities for our clients and for WPP in Germany.”