Five months after the end of the Martin Sorrell era at WPP, Sorrell is still making headlines about matters having to do with the holding company.
Mark Read grabs the brass ring and Stop The Presses! Sorrell has something to say about it. And it’s not all that good.
Most of those weighing in on the decision are neutral to positive.
Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser, for example, had this to say about Read’s appointment: “[Future WPP] growth will mostly be a function of execution in adapting to evolving client needs with investments around internal and external ecommerce, data and consumer experience-focused capabilities.
"We think it is particularly positive for WPP that its new CEO has extensive experience in these areas, which should be helpful for the company as it evolves going forward.”
Sorrell, however, has a contrarian view he has been sharing with any reporter who shoots him an email. He believes WPP should have named Read and Andrew Scott co-CEOs to run the company, just like they ran the company for the previous five months as co-COO. I don’t recall Scott throwing his hat in the ring for the CEO job, but that’s another matter.
Further, Sorrell told Campaign the company’s search process amounted to a “complete waste of time,” given its decision to name Read as the singular CEO.
I guess it’s hard to let go. Sorrell was the founding CEO of the company and over a 30-plus year period, he built WPP into the world’s largest ad holding company.
He gets credit for doing many things right. But he also had well-publicized foibles.
Now, Sorrell is in the somewhat peculiar position of still being a major shareholder in WPP, while also competing with it as the founder of S4 Capital.
So I guess it’s pretty hard to ignore Sorrell when he has something to say about the company.
Even when he is wrong.