The Leader Magazine

SEP 2016

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36 SEPTEMBER 2016 T he genesis of the campus was in 2010, when Real Estate ensured that crucial lease expiry dates were aligned at the end of 2016. Ultimately, the company relocated approximately 3,000 staff out of 10 separate properties, representing some 26 brands within the WPP Group, into a single campus comprising some 45,000 square meters (485,000 sq. ft.) of space. t he leader : Why are campuses considered impor- tant to WPP? Woodburn: WPP seeks to create clusters of significant campuses in each city where we do business. This goal is intrinsically linked to our No. 1 strategy of "horizontality." That's our way of working smarter and better for our clients, delivering multi- disciplinary, seamless solutions. For clients, it's all about giving them easy access to the right people and resources. For staff, it's about joining a powerhouse of peers to deliver seamlessly on the most complex assignments. To our businesses, the campus concept is also about delivering a higher-quality workplace, more space to manage growth, more engaging workplaces and a proud feeling of being a part of something really big. t he leader : What were the three largest challenges in the project, and how were they overcome? Woodburn: The single biggest challenge was achieving "across-the-Group" consensus to proceed. Each business offers its own special services, has its own brand, competes fiercely and manages its own P&L. Achieving consensus is like herding wild goats – but we somehow managed it. There is no one factor, but an alignment of many stars. We have colocation as a guiding principle – you need a strategy as an anchor. We develop and place huge emphasis on our stakeholder relationships, juggling competing interests, having empathy for diverse tensions and agendas, but keeping the big picture in focus. Communication from the outset was critical. We set the scene and it was compelling; we had a problem to fix. We were facing large rent-reversion risks, we had an increasingly fragmented city footprint and we had alignment of lease expires. But, we had plenty of diverse views on location and cost profile and a questioning of the need to move at all. The site-selection d elivering on a vision: WPP's mega campus in s hanghai The LEADER recently talked with James Woodburn, head of Real Estate for WPP in Asia Pacific, to get the inside story on the company's major new campus in Shanghai. WPP is the global leader in advertising and marketing services, with well-known brands including GroupM, JWT, Ogilvy & Mather, Burson-Marsteller, and many others. In the most ambitious co-location effort WPP has ever undergone globally, 3,000 people from 26 different company groups were brought together to a single campus in Shanghai's Jing AN/Zhabei district. F E A T U R E A R T I C L E

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