WPP CEO Martin Sorrell leaves abruptly

  • After 32 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Sorrell
  • Roberto Quarta taking over
  • Sorrell spoke at length and said 112 words

(exechange) — London, United Kingdom, April 14, 2018 — Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by WPP plc in a news release on Saturday, April 14, 2018, Martin S. Sorrell leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the advertising and public relations company after 32 years in the position, effective immediately.

It is the end of an era.

Sorrell’s duties will be taken over by Roberto Quarta, most recently Chairman of WPP plc.

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.

“I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now”

A reason for Sorrell’s sudden departure from the CEO post was not explicitly given. Martin Sorrell said: “I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now.”

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

Precise information about Sorrell’s future plans was not immediately available.

“Stepped down”

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

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of WPP plc since February 2017.

Chaired by Roberto Quarta

WPP plc is chaired by Roberto Quarta.

Roberto Quarta was appointed as a director with effect from January 1, 2015 and became chairman of WPP in June 2015.

In the position of CEO since 1986

Martin Sorrell joined WPP in 1986 as a director, becoming Group chief executive in the same year.

He was a non-executive director of Arconic Inc. until March 10, 2017 and Delta Topco until January 31, 2017.

Martin Sorrell will be available to assist with the transition.

Read the full story in the exechange report 17.2018 ($).