WPP CEO Martin Sorrell Steps Down

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04/14/2018 | 10:27 pm
Martin Sorrell

By Nick Kostov

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP PLC, has stepped down, effective immediately, following the conclusion of a company probe into a personal misconduct allegation.

The company said Mark Read, chief executive of WPP agency Wunderman, and Andrew Scott, WPP corporate development director and chief operating officer, Europe, have been appointed as joint-chief operating officers of WPP. Mr. Sorrell's departure is being treated as a retirement, WPP said.

"Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long," Mr. Sorrell said. "However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now."

The 73-year-old Mr. Sorrell had been at the helm since he founded the company in 1986 and has helped build it into the largest advertising holding company in the world. It boasts a host of blue-chip creative agencies like J. Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam, as well as powerhouse media-buyer GroupM. WPP produces ads for some of the world's biggest companies, from Ford to Unilever.

Write to Nick Kostov at Nick.Kostov@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected April 15, 2018 to reflect that Mark Read and Andrew Scott have been appointed joint-chief operating officers of WPP. The original version of this article incorrectly stated they had been appointed joint-CEOs in the second paragraph.

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