Martin Sorrell makes shock departure from WPP

16 April, 2018, 02:25 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Chief executive officer of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell is stepping aside after 33 years with the firm

He took a United Kingdom manufacturer of wire baskets and built it into a worldwide provider of advertising, public relations and marketing services through a series of takeovers. WPP said yesterday it did not intend to disclose the findings of an inquiry against him into allegations of personal misconduct and misuse of company funds. These are methods his successor can not hope to be allowed to employ.

The departure of the CEO who built a two-man outfit into one of Britain's biggest companies with 200,000 staff in 112 countries leaves WPP without a boss at a pivotal time for the industry and when the group is under great strain.

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.

Roberto Quarta, WPP's chairman, has been appointed executive chairman until the appointment of a new chief executive. "He wasn't widely liked but he was universally admired".

Sir Martin Sorrell has announced he is leaving WPP, the British multinational he founded and led for 33 years.

Sorrell, who will continue to be available to the board with his valued guidance signed off saying, "As a Founder, I can say that WPP is not just a matter of life or death, it was, is and will be more important than that".

Sorrell, 73, said in a statement that he was sad to leave, with WPP having been his passion and focus for more than three decades. "Obviously, I shall play no part in the management of the investigation under way", he added. Sorrell has denied the allegations, details of which have yet to publicly surface.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, WPP Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe, have been appointed as joint Chief Operating Officers of WPP. I reject the allegation unreservedly but recognize that the company has to investigate it.

As the architect of the global empire which began in the humble form of the cash shell Wire and Plastic Products, Sir Martin has amassed rich rewards from his success. WPP's shares have lost a third of their value of the past year - far more than rivals facing the same market challenges of reduced ad spending and competition from web giants - as its financial guidance has repeatedly proved too optimistic.

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