WPP (LON:WPP) has appointed an independent counsel to look into allegations of ‘personal misconduct’ by its chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, the advertising giant has said. The move followed a report in The Wall Street Journal, which suggested that Sorrell had misused company assets and had been accused of improper personal behaviour.
WPP’s share price fell into the red in the previous session, giving up 1.32 percent to close at 1,117.50p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index shedding 26.15 points to end the session 0.37 percent lower at 7,030.46. The group’s shares have lost more than 35 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.5-percent dip in the Footsie.
‘Personal misconduct’ probe
WPP announced in a statement this morning that it had appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against its chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell. The ad giant noted that the allegations did not involve amounts which are material to the company.
The Telegraph meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that the allegations were thought to have been made by a non-board member, with the investigation having begun a couple of days ago. Sources with knowledge of the matter meanwhile told the WSJ that WPP had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations and that it was taking the matter seriously.
Analysts on WPP
The 26 analysts offering 12-month price targets for WPP for the Financial Times have a median target of 1,450.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 1,940.00p and a low estimate of 1,080.00p. As of March 30, the consensus forecast amongst 29 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip group advises investors to hold their position in the company.