WPP Is Said Likely to Publish Sorrell Probe Findings Next Week

(Bloomberg) -- WPP Plc shareholders may be days away from gaining clarity on Chief Executive Officer Martin Sorrell’s future at the company after allegations of personal misconduct and misuse of company assets.

WPP is likely to publish the findings of its investigation into the issue next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the details are private. Reuters previously reported on the timing.

Sorrell’s grip on his ad empire, made up of hundreds of agencies in 112 countries built up over a 33-year period, looks increasingly shaky after news of the investigation broke last week. WPP’s board has an interim internal successor in mind in the event that he leaves the company, a person familiar with the matter said on April 4.

The probe comes at a tricky time for Sorrell, who’s seen WPP lose a third of its market value over the last 12 months. Reduced ad spending from major clients like Unilever and Procter & Gamble Co. has contributed to stalling revenues at WPP, while investors also fret about rising competition with Google and Facebook Inc.

Responding to the probe last week, Sorrell said he denied the allegations “unreservedly.”

“As a significant share owner, my commitment to the company, which I founded over 30 years ago, remains absolute,” he said.

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