Sorrell tops the salary league

The chief executive of WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell, maintains his position as adland's highest earner.

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, continues to lead the way in the pecking order of adland salaries.

However, Sorrell's salary increase, of 3.2 per cent, was paltry compared with Creston's Don Elgie, whose salary rocketed by 35 per cent in the year to 31 March.

Sorrell was paid £859,000 in the year to 31 December, according to figures from Companies House, as reported in Marketing Services Financial Intelligence. Sorrell's bonus and share awards make for a larger package overall. He was awarded a bonus of £1.6 million, based on performance, and £798,000 in shares, plus more than one million shares as part of WPP's LEAP scheme.

Elgie, who has masterminded acquisitions including Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners and Tullo Marshall Warren, was paid £309,000. He was also awarded a bonus of £300,000 and awarded 21,926 shares. Robert Lerwill, Sorrell's former WPP colleague and now the chief executive of Aegis, was paid less than his predecessor, Doug Flynn. Lerwill, who took the Aegis chief executive role in February 2005, pocketed a basic salary of £548,000 for the 11 months to 31 December 2005, which was 22 per cent less than Flynn's £640,000 pay for the full 12 months of 2004.

Lerwill's bonus, however, amounted to £519,000 under terms which offered up to 100 per cent of salary. He was also granted options in more than 1.5 million shares at 105p.

The Chime Chairman Lord Bell saw a 12 per cent salary rise and a £92,250 bonus.

Sir Martin Sorrell - £859,000 - up 3.2%
Robert Lerwill - £548,000 - down 22%*
Don Elgie - £309,396 - up 35%
Lord Bell - £615,000 - up 12%
* Not like-for-like comparison.