The big marcoms groups have been defying gravity recently with their financial results, all of them growing way ahead of growth rates in Western economies where most of their business is still based.
So the various big bosses have been doing well with WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell awarded a £13m ($20m) pot (although some of this comes from the rise in value of shares he bought himself). Sorrell’s base pay rose from £1m to £1.3m.
Publicis Groupe’s Maurice Levy saw his pay rise four-fold to $4.8m and he also received a $21.6m long term bonus. Omnicom’s John Wren earned about $15m and Interpublic’s Michael Roth $13m.
But some interesting details are emerging about people further down the line. At Publicis Groupe senior managers Jack Klues, Kevin Roberts and Jean-Yves Naouri also saw their pay rise.
Klues (pictured), boss of PG media arm VivaKi, saw his pay triple in 2011 to $3m while Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, increased his by 80 per cent to $4.1m. In comparison to Roberts, McCann Worldwide boss Nick Brien, his rival at the Interpublic-owned agency, received just under $5m. The bad news for Brien is that he’s having to give up the chauffered BMW for a Chevrolet after McCann-dominated agency Commonwealth won the account.
Back at PG, COO Jean-Yves Naouri earned $1.9 million last year, while company CFO Jean-Michel Etienne earned $1.2 million. Naouri is slated as Levy’s likeliest successor when he retires in a couple of years’ time (unless he changes his mind again).
As shareholders always ask: do the boys deserve their loot? In the case of the PG boys in 2011, probably yes. As McCann Worldgroup had a pretty gruesome 2011 some might quibble with Brien’s pay. But the former media director is said to be a dab hand with numbers so maybe he turned a healthy profit despite losing some high profile business.