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BREAKING: Sir Martin Sorrell resigns as WPP chief executive
Nadz Ruiz, April 15, 2018 | 9:05am

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief of the world’s largest advertising network, has stepped down from his position as Chief Executive Officer of WPP following an investigation into alleged misconduct charges. 

Roberto Quarta, WPP Chairman, will hold the Executive Chairman position until Sorrell’s successor will be appointed. Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, WPP Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe were also announced as joint Chief Operating Officers of WPP. These executives will take control of a worldwide network which includes agencies J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, and Group M. 

The WPP board investigation involved allegations related to Sorrell’s personal conduct and use of company money. The network stated that the investigation has been concluded but that “the allegation did not involve amounts that are material”. No other comment has been made by WPP. 

In another statement, Quanta said, “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level—within and well beyond our leadership teams.”

On his part, Sorrell issued his own statement saying, “obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the company in very good hands, as the board knows.”

“As I look ahead, I see that the current disruption we are experiencing is simply putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business, our over 200,000 people and their 500,000 or so dependents, and the clients we serve in 112 countries. 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,” Sorrell added. 

WPP further said that Sorrell will be treated as having been retired “in accordance with his at-will employment agreement”. His share awards will be pro-rated over the next five years according to group performance targets being met. 

Below is the full statement by WPP:

Chief Executive Officer Steps Down

Sir Martin Sorrell has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of WPP with immediate effect.

Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, becomes Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

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.

Sir Martin will be available to assist with the transition.

The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.

In accordance with his at-will employment agreement, Sir Martin will be treated as having retired on leaving WPP, as detailed in the Directors’ Compensation Policy. His share awards will be pro-rated in line with the plan rules and will vest over the next five years, to the extent Group performance targets are achieved.

Roberto Quarta said: “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level – within and well beyond our leadership teams. On behalf of the Board I would like to recognise these achievements and thank Sir Martin for his commitment to the business over more than three decades.”

Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the Company in very good hands, as the Board knows. Mark and Andrew and the management team at all levels have the knowledge and abilities to take WPP to even greater heights and capitalise on the geographic and functional opportunities. 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.”

BREAKING: Sir Martin Sorrell resigns as WPP chief executive

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief of the world’s largest advertising network, has stepped down from his position as Chief Executive Officer of WPP following an investigation into alleged misconduct charges. 

Roberto Quarta, WPP Chairman, will hold the Executive Chairman position until Sorrell’s successor will be appointed. Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, WPP Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe were also announced as joint Chief Operating Officers of WPP. These executives will take control of a worldwide network which includes agencies J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, and Group M. 

The WPP board investigation involved allegations related to Sorrell’s personal conduct and use of company money. The network stated that the investigation has been concluded but that “the allegation did not involve amounts that are material”. No other comment has been made by WPP. 

In another statement, Quanta said, “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level—within and well beyond our leadership teams.”

On his part, Sorrell issued his own statement saying, “obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the company in very good hands, as the board knows.”

“As I look ahead, I see that the current disruption we are experiencing is simply putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business, our over 200,000 people and their 500,000 or so dependents, and the clients we serve in 112 countries. 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,” Sorrell added. 

WPP further said that Sorrell will be treated as having been retired “in accordance with his at-will employment agreement”. His share awards will be pro-rated over the next five years according to group performance targets being met. 

Below is the full statement by WPP:

Chief Executive Officer Steps Down

Sir Martin Sorrell has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of WPP with immediate effect.

Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, becomes Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

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.

Sir Martin will be available to assist with the transition.

The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.

In accordance with his at-will employment agreement, Sir Martin will be treated as having retired on leaving WPP, as detailed in the Directors’ Compensation Policy. His share awards will be pro-rated in line with the plan rules and will vest over the next five years, to the extent Group performance targets are achieved.

Roberto Quarta said: “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level – within and well beyond our leadership teams. On behalf of the Board I would like to recognise these achievements and thank Sir Martin for his commitment to the business over more than three decades.”

Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the Company in very good hands, as the Board knows. Mark and Andrew and the management team at all levels have the knowledge and abilities to take WPP to even greater heights and capitalise on the geographic and functional opportunities. 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.”