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WPP In Talks over Executive Pay

Mon, 24th Sep 2018

WPP is understood to be in talks with Mark Read over a 7 million pay package. The package would be half of what former chief Martin Sorrell earned during his last full year as leader of the company.

WPP is said to be in talks with the new chief, regarding a potential package for turning around the marketing company. If Read agrees to the terms, then he would be in line for a £7 million payout. Sorrell too home £13.9 million in 2017. His maximum payout could have been £20 million but Sorrell’s pay was performance related, and WPP’s poor performance in 2017 meant that Sorrell’s package of shares and bonus payouts was reduced.

Read does not have the option to negotiate a package that is worth tens of millions because of the new pay and renumeration rules that were introduced in 2017. The rules were introduced after WPP suffered a string of shareholder rebellions over executive pay. In 2015, Sorrell took home £70.4 million, which was one of the biggest pay packets ever seen from a UK corporation. The payout was opposed by one third of WPP’s shareholders. In 2016, he was paid £48.1 million, again to complaints from shareholders.

Under WPP’s new rules, Read is permitted a maximum bonus of just eight times the base salary that he negotiates. Sorrell’s base salary was £1.15 million a year, but that figure was reduced following shareholder complaints, and Read is likely to start on a lower base salary.

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