Interpublic CEO Michael Roth earned $12.9m last year, of which $1.4m was his base salary.
IPG had a pretty good year in 2014, growing revenue and profits although its Mediabrands media buying operation is in danger of disappearing without some rapid surgery.
This still puts Roth (left) well behind bigger rivals WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell ($53m) and Omnicom’s John Wren ($24m). Roth has headed IPG for ten years, a far shorter period than Sorrell and Wren at their respective companies.
It’s also been revealed that Roth stands to trouser $42m if he finds himself out of a job due to a change of ownership. This doesn’t look very likely at the moment as on-off suitor Publicis Groupe has spend a lot of its money ($3.7bn) on Sapient and the ever-acquisitive Sorrell is more interested in data than advertising these days, being a contender for Tesco’s £2bn Dunnhumby research business.
Dentsu, which now owns media buyer Aegis following a £3.6bn deal, may be interested however. IPG, which would cost at least $10bn, would be a stretch but Dentsu is underpowered in creative agencies.
Activist investor Elliott Management now owns 5.7 per cent of IPG with a couple of directors on the board. It will surely be looking for a deal. In which case Roth is wise to have his $42m ‘golden parachute’ ready packed.