Martin Sorrell Talks Candidly About Mergers, Mayhem—and His Own Demise

The WPP CEO says people don’t take risks

In 1978, Martin Sorrell had just started working with the Saatchis, where, as group finance director, he was the architect of the agency acquisitions that would reshape modern advertising. After investing in Wire and Plastic Products in 1985 (the basis for WPP, where he has served as CEO ever since), Sorrell was prescient in identifying changes impacting the industry, whether consolidation, emerging markets or new technologies. In this chat with Adweek, he shares his thoughts about where the industry is headed, what he thinks of Publicis Omnicom Group and his own plans for the future.