Sir Martin Sorrell quits WPP

Jeannie Matthews
April 15, 2018

WPP has said that Sir Martin will assist with the transition of the new leadership and will be treated as having retired, in accordance with his "at-will employment agreement".

Sorrell is one of Britain's best known and highly paid businessmen, pocketing about £230m since 2010. WPP's shares have lost a third of their value of the past year-far more than rivals facing the same market challenges-as its financial guidance has repeatedly proved too optimistic.

WPP PR Companies operating in Australia include Ogilvy PR, Burson Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, PPR, Pulse and several conflict agencies.

WPP said its "investigation into an allegation of misconduct" against Sorrell had concluded.

In a statement from WPP, Sorrell said: "Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years".

Quarta said: "Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services".

WPP plans to announce that‎ Mark Read, the chief executive of Wunderman, an agency network it owns, and Andrew Scott, chief operating officer of the group's European business, will take over as interim joint chief operating officers.

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Mr Sorrell is among the most influential advertising professionals globally and also the longest-serving FTSE-100 chief executive, who has run WPP since setting up the business in 1985.

Sky News has learnt that WPP, which owns a string of worldwide advertising and media buying networks supplying numerous world's biggest companies, is preparing to announce Sir Martin's departure as soon as Saturday night.

The world's biggest ad group chose to launch the investigation into its chief executive after a whistleblower made allegations.

Read, who previously sat on WPP's main board, is well regarded in the industry while Scott was involved in its acquisition strategy and was not involved with clients.

A spokesperson for WPP provided a statement, attributed to Sorrell. You have given me such excitement and energy and I wanted to thank you for everything you have done and will do for WPP and me.

Several people who have attended WPP board meetings in the past identified Sol Trujillo, a former US telecoms boss, as a non-executive director who sometimes asked the most challenging questions.

Analysts believe Sorrell's departure combined with a share price slump of nearly a third over the past year means investors and the WPP board will have to consider that there is potentially more value in breaking up WPP. Good fortune and Godspeed to all of Back to the Future.

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