WPP share price dips as chief executive steps down

WPP share price dips as chief executive steps down

In 1985, Sorrell bought a stake in Wired and Plastic Product with the aim of turning the publicly traded British shopping basket maker into a global marketing services company.

The company announced on Saturday that the investigation into Sorrell's alleged misuse of company assets had concluded and without providing any further information, stated that "the allegation did not involve amounts that are material", The Washington Post reported. 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.

Analysts at Liberum said: "We would not read too much into this given Sir Martin's age but, more importantly, that WPP is his creation and he would not want to do anything that would be seen as damaging the company".

Many executives recount stories of the CEO taking contract losses personally, including one who told Reuters how Sorrell had shared an hour's vehicle journey in complete silence after his rival mentioned an account he had recently won from WPP.

Energetic and competitive, Sorrell is widely regarded as the titan of his industry known for his combative style, especially when pointing out the failings of his competitors to journalists. One New York-based executive told Reuters how, on a night out, senior executives would all email Sorrell at exactly the same time to see who he would respond to first. "It's practically a stage show". Two years ago, shareholders denounced his almost $100 million paycheck and the company's corporate culture, the New York Times reported.

Whoever takes over will have to decide whether the group of 200,000 people should remain in its current form.

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Sir Martin already owns shares in WPP worth more than £200m‎, while his annual remuneration packages - he earned £70m two years ago - have made him a target for critics of lavish boardroom pay.

Sorrell held the reins at WPP for 33 years.

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.

The 73-year-old will be treated as having retired from the company, meaning he will be entitled to a maximum 1.65 million shares under long-term award plans dependent on WPP's performance.

Sorrell told staff that WPP had come through hard times before and would do so again, saying he would be available to anyone who wanted advice.

The world's biggest ad company's share price was 3.5% down at 8am this morning but has ticked back up to -1.26% down from previous closing to 1,173p a share, despite speculation over the future of the company now Sorrell is leaving after 33 years.

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