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WPP’s Sorrell confounds shareholders with £22m

Unknown-4WPP shareholders keep trying to rein in CEO (and company founder) Sir Martin Sorrell (left) but the wily fox is rather more adept at escaping their clutches.

Last year 60 per cent of shareholders revolted over his £17.6m package, leading to changes aimed at reducing it. And this year Sorrell has trousered – £22m.

This is thanks to £17m of share rewards garnered between 2009 and 2013 under the now-scrapped LEAP incentive scheme plus £5m under a separate arrangement. Sorrell’s 1.5 per cent stake in the £17bn company is now worth about £250m.

Sorrell will argue that the company’s value has trebled in recent years and over the past year it’s the seventh-best performer in the FTSE100. Shareholders will grumble that he’s still paid too much and question if, at 69, he’s the right man to lead the company into battle with the merged Omnicom/Publicis giant and threats from the likes of Google and Facebook.

At the very least they’re likely to demand some clues about a succession plan.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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