At WPP's annual meeting in June 2017, WPP Chairman Roberto Quarta was called upon to defend CEO Martin Sorrell's then $62.2 million pay package. "Sir Martin Sorrell has built this business from nothing," Quarta said. "He is totally committed to this business. I don't think pay is what keeps Martin here at WPP. He's been here for 30 years and hopefully we will keep him here for many more years."
Less than a year later, Sorrell has stepped down from the world's largest agency company amid an investigation into misconduct and the company's worst performance in a decade. But he leaves an indelible legacy in the ad business.
Below, a selective look at the history of the empire he built from shopping carts.
Sorrell invests in U.K. firm Wire & Plastic Products with the intention of building a below-the-line ad business. He becomes CEO a year later.