After more than 33 years at WPP, John Steedman (pictured) is stepping down from his post as GroupM chairman and CEO Asia-Pacific, and will be replaced by Mark Patterson, the media agency group’s regional COO.

At the age of 54, Steedman, or Steady, will retire after 38 years in the business – 18 of which he spent running the region in a senior post at WPP. He will remain in a consulting role for a year after which he intends to pursue personal business interests such as property.

Steedman noted that Patterson had been groomed for the position since his appointment as COO last year, and was selected for his “very strong business acumen” as well as his vision to lead the business and his passion for GroupM and its agencies.

Patterson, who has spent almost eight years at WPP, commented, “For me personally,Steady is, has been and will continue to be a superb mentor, a very close friend and rubbish golf partner. For our business and our industry in the region, he has been an ego free, inspirational, no nonsense leader who has been the architect in the last 10 years of MindShare and subsequently GroupM’s unsurpassed success in Asia-Pacific.”

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