WPP appoints former Baidu executive Ya-Qin Zhang to board

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(Reuters) - WPP WPP.L, the world's biggest advertising company, on Monday named former Baidu Inc BIDU.O president Ya-Qin Zhang as a non-executive director, adding technological heft as it grapples with rising competition from digital marketing.

The company has been looking to simplify its business after clients complained it was too slow and unwieldy, prompting them to take some ad work in house and others to go directly to tech giants, including Facebook Inc FB.O and Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google.

WPP Chairman Roberto Quarta said the company will benefit from Zhang’s understanding of the fast-growing market of China.

Zhang, who spent 16 years with Microsoft MSFT.O in both the United States and China, will join WPP's board in January next year.

(This story has been refiled to add dropped word in paragraph 2)

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni