Martin Sorrell rejects ‘allegations of financial impropriety’ as WPP confirms investigation

The world’s most powerful and influential advertising boss is facing an investigation into an allegation of “personal misconduct”, WPP has confirmed.

Sir Martin Sorrell is being investigated by a company-appointed independent counsel, although the specifics of the allegation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, remain so far 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.

“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, who runs the company from London, has since issued a statement “in his personal capacity” to AdAge refuting any suggestion of “financial impropriety”.

He said: “Reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds. This allegation is being investigated by a law firm. I reject the allegation unreservedly but recognise that the company has to investigate it. I understand that this process will be completed shortly.”

“Obviously, I shall play no part in the management of the investigation under way. As a significant share owner, my commitment to the company, which I founded over thirty years ago, remains absolute – to our people, our clients, our shareholders and all of our many stakeholders. I do not intend to make any further statement at this time.”

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


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