WPP Chief Sorrell to Get $53 Million Payout

Investors in 2012 Voted Against Sorrell's Package

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Martin Sorrell.
Martin Sorrell. Credit: WPP

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell stands to reap 36 million pounds ($53.2 million) from a controversial incentive plan that will see him remain as one of Britain's best-paid executives.

The payout is the result of a five-year investment plan at the world's largest advertising company that ran from 2010 to 2014, WPP said in a statement Monday. During that period, the London-based company's shares rose 121% and its market value gained 133% to 17.8 billion pounds. It has since exceeded 20 billion pounds.

The reward means the total 2014 remuneration for Mr. Sorrell, 70, will top 40 million pounds, said Richard Oldworth, a spokesman for WPP. The final details of Sorrell's 2014 pay won't be published until the company releases its annual report at the end of April. Sixteen other WPP executives including Chief Financial Officer Paul Richardson will also benefit from the incentive program.

The payout has caused controversy in recent years and investors in 2012 voted against Mr. Sorrell's package, which at the time had included a 56% increase. Last year the package rose 70% to 29.8 million pounds.

WPP investors approved a new long-term incentive plan in 2013 that cut the maximum value of shares Mr. Sorrell could get over a five-year period. It also included a 150,000-pound pay cut to his annual salary to 1.15 million pounds.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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