Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sorrell soaring

What to say about a £3.3m pay packet? Other than lunch is on Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell has come under intense fire in the past for the size of the bonuses he and his top executives are paid at WPP. That's probably not a surprise -- they are large. He is on course to earn an extra £44m in bonuses if the WPP share price hits certain targets.

When talking about sums that large it all becomes a bit meaningless. A million here a million there. Who knows if he deserves it?

If you're basing it on the fact that from next to nothing (or shopping basket firm Wire Paper & Plastics), using some of his own cash, putting his money where his mouth is so to speak, he built WPP into the world's second largest advertising holding company then it's difficult to argue with. How much is that worth exactly?

His salary, bonuses and perks are quite a feat, but so is what he has achieved at WPP. It isn't for nothing that the whole industry waits on his bated breath for his next utterance.

A bathtub you say? It more like a plughole to me, but what do I know.

WPP is near the top of its game and its clearly its chief is as well. This could be another big year for WPP. Having already swallowed Y&R and Grey Global in recent years, it could be set to take a bite out of Aegis.

Not that Sorrell appears to be going anywhere anytime soon, but the big question, one which was rattling around last year and is sure to emerge again, is who will step into Sorrell's big bonus boots.

No one appears to have emerged. As others have said it's going to be like replacing Sir Richard Branson at Virgin. You just can't imagine anyone else doing it.

Still, he is only a youthful 61, and let’s face it Ed Meyer, dubbed "immortal" by Sorrell, is still at Grey Global and he's 79.


At 12:09 PM, Anonymous hay fever hay fever...we know how to blow it said...

There's no doubt he's done an exceptional job and is a remarkable man. Totally impossible to replace.

But isn't this sort of money just totally and utterly obscene? The other day you were complaining about the BBC raising the salary of their governors from £28,000 in an attempt to attract a better quality candidate for the role. Surely, if you're going to be editorially consistent you should be balking at the WPP pay scheme?

Why should the BBC pay so little to a senior figure when 44 million in bonuses is the norm in private sector creative organisations?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Gordon said...

My problem with some of the BBC salaries is that they are clearly not worth it.

Jonathan Ross £12.5m? Do me a favour.

Chris Moyles...have to stop blood is boiling.

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous pollen's in the air...everywhere I look around said...

But Ross presents a Radio Show, a prime time evening show, Film 2006, Hollywood Greats and a number of radio 2 shows. Given that someone like, ooh I don't know, Linda Barker, formerly of 'Changing Rooms' was getting 120k per annum for presenting that tat, surely Ross should be given a decent amount of money?

You don't like Moyles fair enough. But you're not his target audience. His show is aimed at an under 25 audience and is popular. Who's to say he's not worth his money when he's keeping Radio 1 in touch with its demographic?

But come on let's get down to the nitty gritty of it Gordon. 44 million in bonuses for one year's work is ridiculous. Surely Sorrell, however brilliant he is, isn't worth that much? I thought Ross's deal was worth 15 million over 5 years. If Sorrell carries on at this rate he'll be earning 235 million over the same time scale. NOBODY is that good at their job.


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