WPP shareholders back Sorrell's controversial bonus scheme

LONDON - WPP shareholders have given their backing to a controversial bonus scheme proposed by Sir Martin Sorrell, which would see the chief executive earn up to £60 million over the next five years.

Sorrell... WPP chief
Sorrell... WPP chief

Only around a quarter of the shareholders who voted on the issue before today's Annual General Meeting in Dublin refused to back the scheme, which could potentially reward WPP senior managers with five times as many free shares if the group meets performance targets.

In order to receive the full £60 million pay-out, Sorrell must invest £12.5 million of his own money in WPP shares, and the company must outperform 90 per cent of its peer group. Under the previous WPP initiative, that figure was set much lower, at 75 per cent.

At the AGM, which was being held in Dublin for the first time since the company moved its headquarters to the Republic of Ireland for tax purposes, it was also announced that like-for-like revenue sales decreased by 6.7 per cent in the first four months of this year.

However, global revenue was up almost 34 per cent, with constant currency revenues up by more than 10 per cent.