The hunt for a new chief executive of WPP (LON:WPP) is well advanced, Reuters has reported, quoting the group’s chairman Roberto Quarta. The comments came at the ad giant’s annual general meeting (AGM) today, with 30 percent of voters failing to back the group’s executive pay proposal.
WPP’s share price meanwhile has jumped in today’s trading, having gained 1.16 percent to 1,261.00p as of 13:15 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.47 percent higher at 7,739.88 points. The group’s shares have given up more than 25 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a three-percent gain in the Footsie.
Hunt for new CEO ‘well advanced’
Reuters reported today that WPP’s chairman had Roberto Quarta had told the advertising company’s AGM today that the hunt for a new CEO following the sudden departure of Martin Sorrell was well advanced and moving ahead rapidly. Sorrell left the company earlier this year following an investigation into allegations of personal misconduct.
The company is currently being run by Quarta, the executive chairman, and chief operating officers Mark Read and Andrew Scott.
Reuters separately reported that nearly 30 percent of voters had failed to back WPP’s executive pay proposal at the AGM, expressing their anger over the handling of Sorrell’s departure. Nearly 17 percent of shareholder votes further failed to back Quarta’s re-election as chairman.
Group updates on performance
WPP meanwhile updated investors on its recent performance in its AGM statement, revealing that its reported revenue had dropped 3.4 percent to £4.8 billion in the first four months of the year. The group’s average net debt came in at £4.89 billion, compared to £4.53 billion in the prior-year period.