WPP CEO Martin Sorrell under probe for allegations of personal misconduct

Martin Sorrell

The company, which has its main management office in London, England, now has 134,000 staff in 3,000 offices across 112 countries.

"Reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds". The company has hired an anonymous law firm to conduct an independent inquiry. While the company didn't elaborate, it did note, "The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP". Sorrell eventually took the company public in 1985 in a bid to build a global marketing company under the name.

"From a corporate governance perspective, the announcement draws attention, once again, to the issues that can arise when an individual has too much power", Jubb, who is now an honorary professor at the University of Edinburgh business school, said in an email.

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The multi-national advertising agency launchedan independent investigation into allegations of the misuse of company funds by CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, after reports circulated last week. On Wednesday WPP sunk a further 2pc as investors feared the investigation of Sir Martin could become a distraction from the company's other challenges. The investigation is ongoing. One source told the Journal that the board is also looking into alleged improper behavior from Sorrell. With Sorrell's position now in doubt, WPP board members will perhaps wish they had established an heir apparent some years ago. WPP has lost a third of its market value over the past 12 months. Sorrell is one of the largest shareholders, with a 1.46 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sorrell, 73, has led the UK-based WPP for more than 30 years, building what was initially a shopping basket maker into the world's largest advertising agency holding company. After a dismal 2017, the CEO faces a huge cut in his pay package and increasing questions about what might happen when he steps down. Sorrell has never given any indication that he may be ready to step back.