Around a third of WPP shareholders voted against CEO Sir Martin Sorrell's proposed £70m pay package at yesterday's annual general meeting in London.
Sorrell (pictured), set up the business in 1985, and it now comprises companies in advertising, media, PR, branding, communications, digital, and marketing services, as well as the Kantar Data Investment Management arm, which includes TNS, Millward Brown, the Futures Company and many other specialist businesses.
At yesterday's AGM, 33.5% of shareholders refused to back WPP's remuneration report, including fund managers Standard Life and Hermes, while 66.5% voted in favour. Peter Parry of the UK Shareholders Society described Sorrell's salary package as 'ridiculous'. Nearly 60% of investors refused to back Sorell's salary package in 2012, but the proportion has dropped to around a fifth in each of the three succeeding years. Despite the pay complaints, shareholders yesterday re-elected him as CEO, with 99.92% in favour.
Sorrell, comfortably the highest paid boss of any FTSE firm, gave the usual robust defence of his salary, commenting: 'If there is something wrong with building a company from two people to 194,000 people where 600,000 people depend on WPP for their livelihoods, then mea culpa'.
Web site: www.wpp.com .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.