I’ll be back pledges Martin Sorrell after ‘extraction’ from WPP

Former WPP boss Martin Sorrell has signaled his intention to return to the advertising industry after describing his exit from the ad giant last month as an “extraction”.

Sir Martin Sorrell: I’ll be back

Addressing a conference in New York yesterday, Sorrell said he had no plans “to go into voluntary or involuntary retirement” and vowed to “start again”.

He declined to expand on his plans.

Asked questions about traditional advertising at the Techonomy conference, Sorrell said his departure from WPP has provided him with an opportunity to view the industry with more clarity.

“After being extracted I can see much more clearly where there are growth pieces and where there are challenges,” he told delegates.

“I don’t want to say the traditional ad business isn’t capable of reinvention. It is capable of reinvention and it will be. All the people running holding companies understand this. They’re not silly.”

When pressed, Sorrell refused to be drawn on his plans. “No, I won’t tell anymore,” he said.

Sorrell, who led WPP for 33 years, left the firm last month amid allegations of personal misconduct. Details of his alleged wrongdoing have not been disclosed.

During a conference call last week executive chairman Roberto Quarta said the former CEO has resigned. He refused to disclose details of WPP’s investigation into the matter.

“Martin was not terminated,” Quarta said in comments reported by several media outlets. “This came about at the end of the investigation; when the results of the investigation were known, Martin decided to resign before the board had taken into consideration the outcome of the investigation and determined whether or not it was appropriate to take action.

“We have no requirement to disclose or necessity to disclose.

“The matter surrounding personal misconduct is really what we consider to be a matter of privacy and therefore is a matter for Martin, and hence the reason why we did not disclose.”


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