Resigns director of WPP, the largest advertising company in the world

Resigns director of WPP, the largest advertising company in the world

The resignation of Martin Sorrel, the CEO of WPP, which he founded more than 30 years ago, calls into question the future of the world’s largest advertising conglomerate. Martin Sorrell retires at age 73, when he has just been the subject of an internal investigation after an “allegation of inappropriate conduct” about the use of company funds. The WPP group announced that these investigations “do not refer to crucial sums” although it did not disclose more details about its conclusions. “Of course I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years” Sorrell admitted in a statement published by WPP. “(…) But I think it’s in the interest of the company that I resign now.” He explained that he feared that if he remained in office he would cause “too much pressure” on the group, of 200,000 employees and with a turnover of 15,000 million pounds 17,000 million euros or 20,800 million dollars). The departure of Sorrel comes at a difficult time for this company, a global player in advertising but facing tough competition from companies such as Google and Facebook, and the decline in advertising budgets of large groups in various sectors, such as goods of consumption, pharmacy or automotive sector. For some analysts, Martin Sorrell mostly pays the fall in the stock market value of the WPP stock on the London Stock Exchange, which has lost 30% in the last 12 months. “In the end, it’s the financial climate that has destabilized the empire he created,” said Simon Jack, BBC economic journalist. “The shareholders were restless. (Sorrel) had lost the unanimous support of the board of directors. ” A global giant Martin Sorrell founded WPP in the mid-1980s, profoundly transforming a manufacturer of metal panels, Wire and Plastic Products, in which he had just invested. Thanks to massive acquisitions, WPP then became a global advertising giant and Sorrel became one of the city’s most famous executives, who in recent years strongly opposed Brexit. However, the high level of their remuneration had been controversial and much commented. Sorrel was the leader of the best paid British businessmen in 2015, with a record salary of £ 70 million (€ 79 million). Martin Sorrell had to face the dissatisfaction of the group’s shareholders, who expressed their disagreement several times when voting against their remuneration. In 2012, a majority of about 60% voted against the level of their income. “It is true that he was immensely well-paid, but let’s not forget that Sir Martin Sorrell built a global advertising empire out of nothing,” said Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times. Born in London, Martin Sorrell studied economics at Cambridge, and then earned a diploma at Harvard. Before founding WPP, he had worked in the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in 1975. In 2000, he was elevated to the rank of knight by Queen Elizabeth II.

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