Sir Martin Sorrell might be the king of marketing, but his personal image is taking a bashing at the moment. The WPP chief exec has been grilled by the media over his £13m pay package recently – and now a leading investor group has said a “car crash” with investors is “inevitable” at the annual general meeting on Wednesday.
Pirc, the group which regularly surveys major institutional investors, said it is finding it “difficult to find shareholders likely to support the company” over Sorrell’s mega-bucks pay.
Up until now, WPP has defiantly stood by Sorrell’s remuneration. But now WPP chairman Philip Lader has hinted for the first time Sorrell’s pay might be revised, saying it was still open to “deliberations”.
Sorrell wouldn’t be the first big-shot chief exec this year to feel the power of the “shareholder spring” – execs at Citigroup, UBS, Barclays and AstraZeneca are among those who’ve been rebutted by shareholders over pay.
The Guardian wrote a nice analysis of Sorrell’s position last week that’s worth a read if you want more on this story.
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