Former WPP supremo Sir Martin Sorrell has finally answered claims that his abrupt departure from the company he founded was due to bullying of staff and allegations he’d used office petty cash to visit prostitutes.
Industry site The Drum interviewed the 74-year-old prior to his Cannes presentation where he labelled the allegations as “fanciful” and the reporting of events “that may or may not have happened”.
Sorrell also blamed WPP’s silence over his sudden departure in April for perpetuating the rumours while others have spoken out in his defence, suggesting the claims were fabricated by former colleagues with an axe to grind.
On the bullying accusation, Sorrell said: “Am I the easiest person in the world to get along with?” You know that I am difficult, but if it’s a fault to demand or expect excellence then mea culpa.”
Sorrell also expanded on his next move after he launched a new company called S4 Capital using $A72 million of his own money and $A91 million from private equity.
The business will look to build a “multi-national communication services business focused on growth,” Sorrell said before adding it would be “very different” from WPP.
“It’s an acknowledgement that the business has changed. The structure of S4 Capital will be very different in structure than anything we saw at WPP,” Sorrell said,