Sir Martin Sorrell Steps Down as WPP CEO

Sorrell Leaves WPP after 33 Years of Service

Sir Martin Sorrell has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of WPP effective 14 April 2018. Roberto Quarta, the company’s Chairman, becomes Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

This news follows the announcement that the Board of the company released earlier this month that an independent investigation was launched in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against Sir Martin.

Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, the company’s Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe, have been appointed as joint Chief Operating Officers of the company.

Sir Martin will be available to assist with the transition, the company said.

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 the company, 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.

“Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of the company 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,” said Roberto Quarta.

“Obviously I am sad to leave the company 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 the company 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,” said Sir Martin Sorrell.

Read more news from WPP here.