In Brief

Sir Martin Sorrell's exit from WPP shrouded in secrecy

Claims of misconduct ‘swept under carpet’ at world’s biggest advertising company

Advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell – the British founder of the world’s biggest advertising firm – stepped down at the weekend, but his departure remains “shrouded in secrecy”, says The Times.

Sorrell, 73, said he had decided it was “in the best interests of the business” that he quit, after 33 years in charge. The firm has offered him a £19m payout and will not disclose the findings of an inquiry it launched into allegations against him.

The newspaper says Sorrell was accused of personal misconduct and misuse of company funds. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that WPP’s board was investigating – but had insisted the allegations “do not involve amounts which are material to WPP”.

Now The Times says sources “close to” Sorrell say he stepped down without knowing the result of the investigation.

Lib Dem leader, and former coalition business minister, Vince Cable, yesterday accused WPP of sweeping the claims “under the carpet”, the BBC reports, and accused the firm of “a real lack of transparency”. Acknowledging that Sorrell is a “highly respected figure”, Cable insisted: “Any investigations done by the company should be made public.”

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