- Sir Martin Sorrell is the head of advertising giant WPP, which he founded in 1985
- The 73-year-old is likely to see his remuneration fall from £48m in 2016 to £15m
- The 70% cut is set to end of Sorrell’s reign as the FTSE 100’s highest paid CEO
Sir Martin Sorrell, the head of advertising giant WPP, is on course for a big pay cut this year, leaving him with his lowest total package since 2011.
The 73-year-old, who founded the ad firm in 1985, is likely to see his remuneration fall from £48 million in 2016 to £15 million for 2017. In 2015, Sorrell’s total pay hit more than £70 million.
The 70 per cent reduction, which comes at the end of a tough year for WPP, is likely to mark the end of Sorrell’s reign as the FTSE 100’s highest paid chief executive.
Good deal: In 2015, Sir Martin Sorrell’s total pay hit more than £70 million
That dubious honour is expected to go to Jeff Fairburn, chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon, who is in line for a bonus of around £75 million.
WPP said last week that Sorrell had received a long-term bonus of £10 million for work in 2017 – down from £41.6 million in 2016.
The ad man’s salary, pension, benefits and short-term incentive pay are likely to boost his total package to around £15 million. The final figure will be in WPP’s annual report next month.
This would mark his lowest total package since 2011, when he earned £11.9 million.
Between 2012 and 2016, he raked in more than £200 million thanks to a generous long-term incentive plan.
Investors forced WPP to introduce a less lucrative scheme, which took effect last year, so Sorrell is only now feeling the pinch.
His pay was also hit by WPP’s recent struggles, which have seen the share price fall 30 per cent in a year.
Sorrell described 2017 as ‘not a pretty year’, as WPP struggled to adapt to digital disruption in the market.
Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, said: ‘Payouts to Sir Martin have been a grotesque symbol of executive greed for many years. That era is, thankfully, dying.’
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