Martin Sorrell resigns as head of WPP

Martin Sorrell resigns as head of WPP

Martin Sorrell resigns as head of WPP

"It is hard to see a future for WPP", the chief executive said.

The company has also named Mark Read, who runs WPP's digital operation Wunderman, and its European chief operating officer Andrew Scott as joint chief operating officers.

"Martin changed an industry inventing a lot of what became the model for the big holding company along the way", says David Jones, the former global chief executive of Havas.

WPP has said that Sir Martin will assist with the transition of the new leadership and will be treated as having retired, in accordance with his "at-will employment agreement".

In a statement, he said it was "in the best interests of the business if I step down now".

Earlier this month, the board of WPP appointed an independent counsel to investigate Sorrell for personal misconduct.

The move follows an investigation into allegations of improper behavior and misuse of assets.

The firm, which has offices in Mayfair, New York, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Shanghai, said an investigation into an allegation of misconduct has concluded.

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"That is why I have decided that in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all share owners, both big and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, it is best for me to step aside". Sorrell has denied the allegations, details of which have yet to publicly surface.

Alex de Groote, media analyst at Cenkos Securities, said that the question of who would succeed Sorrell at the helm was a "red herring", because shareholders want to break up the company.

WPP plc American Depositary Shares (NYSE:WPP) has received an average rating of "Hold" from the fifteen research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports.

The 73-year-old also established himself as one of relatively few British business leaders who are recognised around the world.

Sir Martin Sorrell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of advertising company WPP, attends a conference at the Cannes Lions Festival in Cannes, France, June 23, 2017.

The question now for his successor, WPP's investors and its tens of thousands of clients is whether the £15bn group can survive the departure of its founder and the dramatic changes the internet is bringing to the traditional world of advertising.

Some multinational advertisers, including P&G, which owns ‎Ariel and Gillette, have signalled their intention to take more of their marketing services activity in-house, reducing the lucrative work for which they are charged by external agencies.

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