WPP boss Martin Sorrell under investigation of ‘personal misconduct’ allegation

The world’s best known advertising executive Sir Martin Sorrell is facing an investigation into an allegation of “personal misconduct”. However, the specifics of the allegation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are unclear.

In a statement provided to Mumbrella, a WPP spokesperson, said: “The Board of WPP has appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer of WPP. The investigation is ongoing.

WPP is investigating Sorrell for alleged “personal misconduct”

“The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, WPP will be looking into whether the CEO of 33 years misused company assets and conducted “improper personal behaviour”.

Sorrell runs the company from London.

The Australian arm of the holding group, which includes agencies such as AKQA, Ogilvy, JWT, WhiteGREY, Y&R, Spinach, Wavemaker, Mediacom, Ikon, PPR, Ogilvy PR, Pulse Communications, Kantar and Mindshare, has been through a series of changes locally in the past year.

In February, WPP AUNZ saw a decline in its public relations, data investment and PR arms, which include agencies such as Ogilvy, Cannings Purple, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, PPR, Pulse Communications and Kantar.

The company has also recently merged a number of agencies including the consolidation of The White Agency and Grey Group Australia, forming WhiteGREY, and GroupM and MEC, to create Wavemaker.

Meanwhile, the joint-CEO of WhiteGREY Paul Worboys resigned in February earlier this year as his counterpart Miles Joyce exited just weeks later.

WPP saw another CEO departure as Tania Kullmann resigned from Kantar.

Just one month later, in March, the holding group saw yet another CEO depart as Phil McDonald exited Y&R. Shortly after, the former CEO of Leo Burnett, Pete Bosilkovski was announced as McDonald’s replacement.

The allegations come after WPP reported flat revenues and sales in November last year.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.