In Martin Sorrell's Absence, an Uncertain Future Looms for WPP

Will we recognize the holding company in 10 years?

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Martin Sorrell spent much of his career successfully working to satisfy WPP investors until the margins stopped growing. Now, the longtime CEO’s departure brings a seemingly endless series of questions about what, exactly, the future holds for the world’s largest advertising business.

Will the company currently led by executive chairman Roberto Quarta sell assets Sorrell was adamant about retaining? What will happen to the holding company model Sorrell shaped? And is anyone truly qualified to fill his shoes?

The company’s stock price dropped this week as executives rushed to reassure clients and shareholders around the world and analysts offered their own cautious predictions.

“WPP’s not going to disappear; it’s not going to be broken into bits and sold off,” said Tom Denford, co-founder and chief strategy officer of agency consultancy ID Comms.




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