The chief executive of the world’s biggest advertising group, WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, was paid a total package of £70 million ($A140 million) in 2014, a hefty sum described as “preposterous”.
The Guardian in the UK has reported that Sir Martin’s lavish pay arrangements included shares, a bonus scheme and his salary.
However, not everyone’s happy with Sir Martin’s windfall. Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, a lobby group that promotes responsible investment and frowns on massive CEO salaries, called the money “preposterous” and said it showed a “worrying disregard” for shareholders.
In an interview with Business Insider, Howarth said: “Anyone can see that a pay packet likely to reach £70m for a year’s work cannot possibly offer good value for shareholders. Executive pay has reached preposterous levels at many FTSE companies, but this year WPP has gone way beyond the pale. Last year there was a shareholder revolt over Sir Martin’s pay packet; the fact that the company has ignored protests by a considerable number of investors suggests a worrying disregard for their views.”
It’s not the first time Sir Martin’s pay cheque has caught the ire of some. Last year, ShareAction described his spiralling swags of cash as having reached an “astronomical level” and presented a “significant risk to WPP’s reputation”. ShareAction believed the money would be better spent on staff development and re-investment in the business.