London, UK – There are many questions about the future of global advertising giant WPP after Saturday’s resignation of managing director Martin Sorrell, who founded it more than 30 years ago.
73-year-old Sorrell resigned after he was the subject of an internal investigation following a allegation of inappropriate behavior “on the use of company funds. The WPP group announced that these investigations ” did not concern crucial amounts “, without further revealing the findings of the investigation. ” I am obviously sad to leave WPP after 33 years “, acknowledged Mr. Sorrell in a statement released by WPP.” It has been a passion, the center of my attention and a source of energy for so long. But I think it’s in the company’s interest that I resign now “. He expressed concern that his retention would be a burden. too much pressure “on the group with 200,000 employees and turnover of more than 15 billion pounds (more than 17 billion euros). His departure comes at a pivotal time for this global advertising player, facing stiff competition from companies like Google and Facebook, and the compression of advertising budgets of large groups of various sectors, in consumer goods, pharmaceuticals or the automobile. ” His departure leaves the company he founded facing deep questions about his future direction “Economic commentator Mark Kleinman of the SkyNews channel said. But for some analysts, Martin Sorrell mainly pays the fall in the stock market value of WPP on the London Stock Exchange, which has lost 30% in the last twelve months. ” In the end, it was the business climate that destabilized the empire he had created Simon Jack, a BBC economics reporter, said. The shareholders were worried. He had lost the unanimous support of the board of directors “. WPP indicated that his resignation would be considered a retirement. President Roberto Quarta will become Executive President until a new Executive Director is appointed. – From metal baskets to advertising – Martin Sorrell founded WPP in the mid-1980s by deeply transforming a wire basket manufacturer, Wire and Plastic Products, in which he had recently invested. With massive acquisitions, WPP has since become a global advertising giant and Mr. Sorrell one of the most prominent leaders of the City, who was strongly against the Brexit. Against a background of mixed results, the all-powerful boss was already under pressure to put a plan for his own succession on the rails. When presenting the group’s annual results in March, he acknowledged that the year 2017 had ” not a good year, with stable revenues on a like-for-like basis, operating margins and profits stagnant or in slow progression “. In recent years, the high level of his remuneration had been widely commented. Leader in the ranking of the best paid British bosses in 2015, with a record pay of 70 million pounds (89.5 million euros), Martin Sorrell faced the dissatisfaction of some of the shareholders of the group, who had expressed several times their disagreement by voting against his remuneration. In 2012, a majority of nearly 60% had even voted against his remuneration of 6.8 million pounds (8.4 million euros). ” While he was relentlessly and richly paid, let us not forget that Sir Martin Sorrell built a global advertising empire out of nothing “, commented Lionel Barber, publisher at the Financial Times. Born in London, Martin Sorrell studied economics in Cambridge, then graduated from Harvard. Prior to founding WPP, he worked at the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency in 1975. In 2000, he was raised to knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.