CANNES, France (Reuters) – Former WPP boss Martin Sorrell denied on Friday that he had visited a prostitute and paid utilizing company cash when pressed on a stage in entrance of tons of of individuals about why he had left the promoting large he based.
Sorrell, talking on the principle stage on the Cannes Lions promoting competition, was requested by the New Yorker journalist Ken Auletta about reviews within the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times colleague had reported him to WPP administration for utilizing a prostitute.
Sorrell initially referred to a denial made by his spokesman however when pressed to go additional, he mentioned: “It’s not true.”
The 73-year-old stop WPP in April after the company mentioned it had investigated an allegation of private misconduct however neither Sorrell nor the company have given any particulars concerning the nature of the criticism.
The departure of the world’s most well-known promoting govt and considered one of Britain’s main businessman has prompted a lot hypothesis over why he stood down, together with a prolonged report within the Financial Times which additionally mentioned he had acted aggressively in direction of workers.
Asked about how he handled workers, Sorrell mentioned he demanded excessive requirements however didn’t assume the newspaper description was truthful and that he had obtained quite a few messages of help from former colleagues.
He mentioned he stop as a result of he thought it was the fitting factor to do for the company he based greater than three a long time in the past and which now has 200,000 workers.
He was on stage on the annual promoting conference — the place for years he held court docket — to interview Auletta about his new e-book on the trade, Frenemies.
After discussing the fast change within the promoting world, Auletta mentioned he wanted to handle the “elephant in the room” — the the reason why Sorrell had felt compelled to depart WPP.
Asked whether or not he had visited a prostitute, Sorrell mentioned: “We’ve dealt with that by strenuously denying it.”
“So it’s not true?” Auletta requested.
“It’s not true,” Sorrell replied.
“I felt the situation had become untenable and I felt it was in the best interests of the share owners, the clients, the people inside the company,” he added, explaining why he left.
Sorrell’s exit sparked an investor backlash on the current WPP annual assembly after it emerged he had left with share awards doubtlessly value as much as 20 million kilos and with out a non-complete trigger.
He has already began a brand new enterprise after shopping for right into a listed shell company and raised 150 million kilos from exterior traders to make acquisitions.
Sorrell was later requested at a press briefing in Cannes whether or not the character of the allegations would deter these new traders.
“We’ll see in time,” he mentioned 3 times, when pushed by a journalist.
Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Keith Weir