WPP annual general meeting to be a ‘heated affair’ over former chief Sir Martin Sorrell's exit pay

 
Emily Nicolle
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The furore surrounding Sorrell's departure is expected to come to a crux on Wednesday
The furore surrounding Sorrell's departure is expected to come to a crux on Wednesday (Source: Getty)

More than a quarter of marketing services group WPP’s shareholders have voted against its remuneration report, ahead of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday.

Reports from Sky News suggest that backlash over former chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell’s exit pay packet is likely to reach a boiling point at the meeting, as shareholders voice their concerns regarding the situation surrounding his resignation, which has yet to be made public.

Meanwhile WPP’s chairman Roberto Quarta will face a more subdued revolt than first thought, with up to 20 per cent of shareholders expected to oppose his re-election to the board.

The news comes as Sorrell considers legal action against the Wall Street Journal, following the organisation’s publication of information relating to the terms of his departure from WPP in April.

Read more: Sir Martin Sorrell considers legal action against WSJ claims

Last week, City advisory group Pirc told shareholders to vote against WPP's remuneration report due to the "highly excessive" package that had been handed out to the media giant's outgoing chief executive. Sorrell will receive variable pay equivalent to 1,060 per cent of his salary.

A separate report from Institutional Shareholder Services also took issue with the pay plan lined up for Sorrell, saying: "Given the unclear nature of his departure, a question can be raised as to whether this was appropriate," although the group went on to tell shareholders that reinstating Quarta as chairman would be in the company's best interests.

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