Sir Martin Sorrell faces another shareholder revolt over his £48m pay


The highest-paid man on the FTSE is facing another investor revolt over his multi-million-pound package.

Around a quarter of shareholders are expected to protest against Sir Martin Sorrell’s £48million pay and bonus deal during WPP’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

The advertising mogul, who earned the title of best-paid man on the FTSE after taking home an eye-watering £70million in 2015, was given a £This 22million pay cut in 2016.

But the move has failed to quell angry shareholders, who are reportedly set to vote against the remuneration package.

A ShareAction spokesman said: ‘Investors in WPP should be sending the strongest possible signal of disapproval to Mr Sorrell for this pay packet, which not only makes no sense for shareholder value but is damaging to public trust in business.

‘You don’t have to be an institutional investor to know that this stratospheric sum of money for one year’s work is grossly out of touch with the average worker’s salary.’

WPP introduced a less generous payment scheme for Sorrell this year after 34 per cent of shareholders refused to back its so-called Leap incentive plan at its annual meeting last year.

The 72-year-old has received more than £208million in remuneration in the past five years under the Leap scheme.

With the revised deal, Sorrell’s pay is expected to be no more than £19million, but on Wednesday shareholders will decide whether the payment should be reduced even further – possibly down to £13.2million.

The cut comes amid increased Government scrutiny over fat cat pay, with Prime Minister Theresa May last year criticising the ‘irrational and unhealthy’ earnings gap between bosses and ordinary workers.

Stefan Stern, director of the UK’s High Pay Centre, said: ‘In fairness to Sir Martin, he is a big shareholder so he had put his money where his mouth is. The question is what should he be paid for a year’s work.’

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe was given a pay cut last year, after failing to meet targets. The 56-year-old took home £2.3million, down from £2.8million a year earlier.

Meanwhile Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary is sitting on a £44million paper profit after the budget airline reported soaring full-year profit and sales.

O’Leary, 56, was handed options over 5m Ryanair shares in 2014, which vest in 2019 as long as he hits targets and remains at the company.

 Ryanair shares hit a high of €18.68 last week.