WPP’s annual report has revealed that the agency network has commenced its hunt for Sir Martin Sorrell’s replacement as chief executive.
In the director’s report by chairman Roberto Quarta, he stressed that the company is obliged to consider succession from two angles: first, as an orderly, planned process; and second, as something potentially more sudden, “as recent tragic events have shown”.
“As Philip (Lader, Quarta’s predecessor) said, ‘Sir Martin, like all of us, is not immune from being hit by the proverbial bus’,” Quarta added. “At some point we all leave our jobs. The question is when.
“Whether, in Sir Martin’s case, that happens tomorrow, in one, two, three, four or five years, or even over a longer period, we have already begun to identify internal and external candidates who should be considered.”
Quarta, who joined as chairman in 2015, went on to say that the board will continue to focus on the search in 2016 and beyond.
He reassured shareowners that the company already has a strong pool of internal and external candidates to draw from, and will consult them on Sorrell’s successor.
The report also revealed that Sorrell, who received £42.7m in 2014, will get £70.4m for 2015, with the majority coming from a long-term bonus in shares.
To watch our interview with Sir Martin Sorrell at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, click here.