S4 Capital documents show that executive chairman Martin Sorrell’s total compensation from the firm last year was around $300,000 including salary, taxable benefits, bonuses and pension.
That’s a pretty sharp fall from Sorrell’s “pay king” days when he was the highest paid executive in Adland.
Different time and different company, off course.
In 2015 when he was still CEO at WPP (he left in 2018) Sorrell raked in over $100 million in total remuneration, by far the highest in the industry. That didn’t go over very well with WPP shareholders—one-third of them rejected the pay package at WPP’s annual meeting in 2016. (The vote was advisory).
Sorrell took several pay cuts in the ensuing years he remained at WPP although annually he was still paid tens of millions of GBPs.
And he remains a wealthy man. The UK’s Times of London estimated his net worth two years ago at £368 million (over $500 million). He’s the largest single shareholder at S4 Capital with over 54.6 million ordinary shares (trading at over £5 on the London Exchange today) and owns the controlling “B” share as well. That gives him the power to appoint or remove directors from time to time, approve M&A deals and hire and fire executives among other powers.
It also gives Sorrell the right to reject most shareholder proposals out of hand, which might explain why there are none scheduled to be voted on at the company’s upcoming annual meeting June 7. Shareholders can attend can in person in London or virtually.