WPP share price: Group under fire over CEO’s record pay

on May 1, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

WPP’s (LON:WPP) share price has slid as the world’s largest advertising group faced shareholder criticism over the record-breaking pay package received by its chief executive officer. According to the company’s annual report, released yesterday, Sir Martin Sorrell, was paid £43 million in salary and bonuses last year, making him the highest-paid CEO in the FTSE 100 index.

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The bulk of Sorrell’s pay came in the form of £36 million in shares that were awarded as part of WPP’s long-term incentive plan. It also included a basic salary of £1.15 million, plus pension and other benefits of £2.2 million, with short-term incentives of £3.56 million.
Sorrell earned more than eight times the £5.04 million average pay for a FTSE 100 boss, according to High Pay Centre. Luke Hildyard, head of research at the independent think-tank, described the package as “ludicrous”.
Shareholders will be able to voice their opinions regarding the CEO’s reward at WPP’s annual general meeting in June. Over the past two years, nearly a quarter of the group’s investors have either voted against its remuneration report or abstained.
Sir John Hood, chairman of WPP’s remuneration committee, defended Sorrell’s pay. He said in the group’s annual report yesterday that WPP expected “the primary area of focus for share owners and the broader media in 2015 to be in the single figure for Sir Martin Sorrell”. But he added that it was “largely the product of exceptional performance delivered over the past five years, driving the vesting of the 2010 long-term incentive award and the increase in your company’s share price”.
WPP’s share price fell on the back of the news yesterday. After posting further drops in the morning the stock gained some ground midday. By 15:08 BST, the shares had rallied 0.46 percent to 1,533.00p.
As of 15:27 BST, Friday, 01 May, WPP PLC ORD 10P share price is 1,553.50p.


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