IPG’s Roth trails in the CEO pay stakes with $12.9m

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.

026_michael_rothThis 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.

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