WPP CEO Martin Sorrell Steps Down

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell Steps Down

According to a statement from WPP, Chairman Roberto Quarta, has taken over as the executive chairman until the appointment of a new CEO.

The company added that the allegations did not involve amounts which are material to WPP, implying that the potential misuse of company funds form‎ed part of the probe.

It took Sorrell decades to turn an investment in a wire shopping basket manufacturer into the world's largest advertising company, a colossus of more than 400 agencies across 112 countries, counting 200,000 employees.

The departure of Sorrell, who resigned on Saturday before learning the findings of an internal investigation into alleged personal misconduct, is also being viewed as a potential catalyst for a break-up of WPP.

Sorrell, who has led the firm for 33 years, said it was "in the interests of the business" to step down. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now.

Sir Martin said last week that he rejected the allegation unreservedly but recognise that the company has to investigate it.

Sir Martin Sorrell is in line for nearly £20m in payouts from WPP over the next five years, as part of the deal struck to leave the advertising group he founded more than three decades ago.

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Those close to WPP have been keen to play down suggestions of any rift between Sorrell and the rest of the board, noting they stood by him during a series of shareholder revolts over his pay in previous years.

Sky News television's City editor Mark Kleinman said his resignation was one of the most significant ‎exits of a FTSE 100 company chief executive for many years.

The acquisitions included the J. Walter Thompson Group, the Young & Rubicam Group and the Ogilvy Group. (He is renowned for holding conversations while texting with clients and friends.) Today, WPP can be a worldwide advertisements behemoth with 130,000 workers in 112 countries, and a industry valuation of approximately 2-2 billion pounds, or about £ 31 billion.

It largely outperformed its peers Omnicom OMC.N , Publicis PUBP.PA and IPG IPG.N in the years that followed the financial crisis as the group pitched aggressively for new work.

The migration of advertising online and the encroachment into market research of consultancies such as Accenture have compounded the pressures.

However, Sorrell will assist with the transition as the company seeks a new leader. Its shares are down around 30 percent this year.

"As a founder, I can say that WPP is not just a matter of life and death, it was, is and will be more important than that". "Good fortune and Godspeed to all of you ... now Back to the Future".

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