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Martin Sorrell, the powerful CEO who made WPP the largest advertising and public relations firm in the world, resigned after allegations of misconduct.
The misconduct allegedly involved the improper use of company funds, although not at a "material" level of mass organization, as well as "personal misconduct".
WPP has completed its investigation into the allegations, but has not released any public details about what the allegations were, or if they were substantiated. Sorrell has denied that the accusations have merit.
Sorrell "will be treated as retired," WPP said in a statement. The Guardian reports that Sorrell, 73, should receive about £ 20 million ($ 28 million) as part of his departure.
As NPR previously reported:
"Sorrell is a giant in the global advertising industry, and one of the most prominent businessmen in Britain, famous for his good remuneration, earning £ 210 million (almost $ 300 million) over the course of 5 years in a controversial salary package that some shareholders resisted.
"In the last year, he is under pressure due to his company's performance: WPP has seen poorer growth than expected and a fall in stocks.
"Sorrell, former director of finance at Saatchi & Saatchi, created WPP in the mid-1980s. He invested in a manufacturing company called Wire and Plastic Products Plc assumed the position of executive director and turned the company into a company Through the acquisition after acquisition, the renowned WPP Group went from being a small operation to being gigantic.
"Today is the world & # 39; It is the largest advertising company, and Sorrell has been called the "most important advertising executive in the world". "
In a statement to WPP employees – more than 200,000 of them – Sorrell described the company as a" family "and praised its growth over the past three decades.
He acknowledged the accusations of misconduct only oblique way  "I see that the current interruption we are experiencing is simply to exert too much unnecessary pressure on the business," he wrote. "That is why I have decided that in your interest, in the interest of our clients, in the interest of all Shareholders, large and small, and in the interest of all our other stakeholders, the best thing for me is to put me aside. "
" As a founder, I can say that WPP is not just a matter of life and death, it was, is and will be more important than that, "he wrote.
Sorrell, whose name has been inextricably linked with the identity of WPP since he reinvented the company in the 80s, he has never discussed changing the company before, but he says there is a succession plan in motion.
President Rorto Quarta will assume the position of CEO until it is named a new CEO, says WPP Mark Read and Andrew Scott, current WPP executives, will serve as joint operations chiefs