Embattled Sorrell exits CEO post at WPP

Embattled Sorrell exits CEO post at WPP

Embattled Sorrell exits CEO post at WPP

Sir Martin Sorrell last night dramatically stepped down from his position as chief executive of advertising and marketing giant WPP ahead of the findings from an internal investigation into alleged misconduct.

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.

Yet as he fashioned himself as a superstar executive, Mr. Sorrell also came under sharp scrutiny - especially for his increasingly lavish pay packages, which came to symbolize boardroom excess in Britain. A new generation of management, led by Mark Read and Andrew Scott (who have each been at WPP for approximately 20 years), are well qualified and experienced in the Board's opinion, to deal with the geographic and technological opportunities and challenges our industry faces.

Chairman Roberto Quarta will become executive chairman of the company until a new CEO is appointed, according to a.

"That is why I have decided that in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all shareowners, both big and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, it is best for me to step aside". Mr. Sorrell's departure is being treated as a retirement, WPP said.

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Sir Martin said last week that he rejected the allegation "unreservedly but recognise that the company has to investigate it".

It took Sorrell decades to turn an investment in a wire shopping basket manufacturer into the world's largest advertising company, a colossus of more than 400 agencies across 112 countries, counting 200,000 employees.

"Yes he was relentless and richly rewarded - but let's not forget Sir Martin Sorrell built a global advertising empire from nothing", said Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times newspaper. The independent law firm in charge of investigation was due to deliver its findings to the board by next Friday but details of the misconduct allegation and the outcome of the probe will now not be made public.

We pioneered Atticus Awards for original written thinking.... the WPP Fellowship Awards to recognize promising talent.... the Partnership and Practice Awards for client endorsed integrated market and case studies.

"I will particularly miss the daily interactions with everyone across the world and want to thank them and their families for all they have done, and will do, for WPP", Sorrell added.

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The acquisitions included the J. Walter Thompson Group, the Young & Rubicam Group and the Ogilvy Group.

The old advertising and media-buying WPP agencies have been rendered less important by the sheer reach and analytics available by going to the mega-platforms Google and Facebook direct.

That has left WPP and its peers - the French group Publicis and Interpublic of the United States - being buffeted by headwinds which also include the disintermediation of digital platforms such as Facebook.

However, the firm has struggled in the past year, with shares falling back from heights above £19 in February to less than £12 at the close of markets last Friday.

"If WPP does well, I do well", he told the Press Association in April 2016.

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