British advertising giant WPP PLC yesterday revealed that it had launched an independent investigation into allegations of misconduct by its chief executive Martin Sorrell, reportedly of a financial and personal nature.
The statement came after the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that WPP was looking at whether Sorrell “misused company assets” alongside “allegations of improper personal behavior.”
Sorrell, 73, denied any wrongdoing, but said the company that he founded more than three decades ago had no choice, but to investigate an allegation of “financial impropriety” made against him.
“The board of WPP has appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP,” the advertiser said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
“The investigation is ongoing. The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP,” it added.
Sorrell in a separate statement said that “reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds.”
“This allegation is being investigated by a law firm. I reject the allegation unreservedly, but recognize that the company has to investigate it,” he said. “I understand that this process will be completed shortly.”
“As a significant share owner, my commitment to the company, which I founded over 30 years ago, remains absolute,” Sorrell added.
News of the probe sent WPP’s share price sliding 2.3 percent in early deals on London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index.
Long-serving Sorrell has made headlines in recent years regarding his sizeable pay, at a time when traditional advertising groups struggle against fierce competition from the likes of Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc.
Sorrell received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
ELECTRIC FARMLAND: TSMC’s proposal to clear 230 hectares of reforested land for what would become Taiwan’s largest photovoltaic solar farm has generated concerns New rules curbing solar farms built on agricultural land sparked fierce debate at a packed public hearing at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, with industry representatives saying that the new restrictions would endanger President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) green energy goals, while agricultural officials emphasized the importance of protecting farmers and the environment. The Tsai administration has set a target to generate 20 percent of the nation’s power from renewable sources by 2025, by which time it also aims to install 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power, including 6GW from rooftop solar systems and 14GW from ground-mounted solar farms. Although rooftop solar systems are
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday posted monthly revenue that suggested second-quarter sales surpassed analysts’ estimates, underscoring how its technological lead is helping the chipmaker weather the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions on its second-biggest customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為). Apple Inc’s main iPhone chipmaker posted sales of NT$120.88 billion (US$4.08 billion) for last month, up 40.8 percent year-on-year and bringing its revenue for the second quarter to NT$310.7 billion, beating the NT$308.8 billion analysts expected on average. TSMC, a barometer for the industry thanks to its heft in the global supply chain, had previously lowered its revenue outlook for this
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees