The Board of WPP has appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer of WPP. The investigation is ongoing. The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP as the holding company.
Mr Sorrell (73), who has been at the helm of WPP as CEO for 33 years, “unreservedly” denied the misconduct allegation, which involves the improper use of company funds and allegations of improper personal behavior.
“WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds,” Mr Sorrell said in a statement.
“This allegation is being investigated by a law firm. I reject the allegation unreservedly but recognize that the company has to investigate it. I understand that this process will be completed shortly. Obviously, I shall play no part in the management of the investigation under way,” he added.
Mr Sorrell is among the most influential advertising professionals globally and also the longest-serving FTSE-100 chief executive, who has run WPP since setting up the business in 1985. In the past few years, his role has come under pressure in context to his pay and other issues, including the drop in WPP revenue last year.
This investigation is expected to put further pressure on WPP’s performance at Wall Street but a speedy outcome is expected.