WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell is facing the prospect of a further shareholder revolt this summer with his remuneration for 2014 set to be £36m.
Sorrell has fought several bruising battles with shareholders over the size of his pay packages in recent years, culminating with a heavy defeat in 2012.
None of the recent revolts have come close to the 60 per cent of investors who rebuked his pay package in 2012.
But with Sorrell’s total pay, including the £36m share payout, likely to hit more than £40m, WPP’s annual meeting this year is bound to be tense.
Sorrell, widely acknowledged as being the best in his industry, has led WPP – which he founded – for almost 30 years, becoming the highest paid chief executive on the FTSE 100 in the process.
Last year Sorrell helped deliver record profits at the advertising and marketing firm, which rose 12 per cent to £1.5bn.
This performance is likely to mean any revolt will remain limited. However, not every shareholder will believe the reward represents good value for money.
Luke Hildyard, deputy director of the think tank High Pay Centre, has previously questioned the validity of the payouts, saying:
“This is a dangerously excessive amount of money.
“It is vital fund managers hold WPP to account when they get a chance to vote on this award on behalf of company shareholders.”