Sir Martin Sorrell quits WPP in the 'interests of company'

Sir Martin Sorrell quits WPP in the 'interests of company'

The announcement comes following the conclusion of an investigation into alleged misuse of WPP money by Sir Martin.

"Martin changed an industry inventing a lot of what became the model for the big holding company along the way", says David Jones, the former global chief executive of Havas.

"As I look ahead, I see that the current disruption we are experiencing is simply putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business", he said.

Sorrell, 73, said late Saturday that he would resign from his position as chief executive office of WPP PLC with immediate effect.

However, Sorrell will assist with the transition as the company seeks a new leader. He has denied any wrongdoing.

He said he had decided that "in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all shareowners, both big and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, it is best for me to step aside".

Born in London, Sorrell studied economics at the University of Cambridge and then gained a masters from Harvard University.

The question now for his successor, WPP's investors and its tens of thousands of clients is whether the £15bn group can survive the departure of its founder and the dramatic changes the internet is bringing to the traditional world of advertising.

He previously worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, and was knighted in the Queen's New Year honours list in 2000.

Sorrell made headlines in recent years regarding his sizeable pay at a time when traditional advertising groups struggle against fierce competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.

Highest paid FTSE 100 boss: In 2017, the High Pay Centre think-tank and the Chartered Institute of Personal Development released results of a study which showed that Sir Martin was the highest paid FTSE 100 boss for a second year, although his total pay fell from £70.4m to £48.1m.

However, he always fiercely defended his income, saying it was related to how well the company he started from nothing was doing.

A source close to Sorrell said he had been unhappy with how the investigation was handled, leaving him uncertain whether he could work with the board again.