Daniel Farey-Jones
Jul 26, 2018

Sorrell 'saddened and disturbed' by resignation at WPP China

Former WPP leader reacts to resignation of non-executive director Hugo Shong.

Sorrell 'saddened and disturbed' by resignation at WPP China

Sir Martin Sorrell has again criticised former employer WPP, saying he is "saddened and disturbed" by the resignation of its non-executive director Hugo Shong, who he credited as a significant factor in the group's growth in China.

Shong’s resignation two days ago came with WPP currently in talks with Chinese companies Tencent, Alibaba and China Media Capital, about them buying 20% of its Chinese operations. The talks date back to Sorrell’s time at the holding company.

The founder of CMC, Li Ruigang, is the only remaining non-executive director from China on WPP’s board following the resignation of Shong, who is the global chairman of China-focused publishing and venture capital group IDG.

Reacting to Shong’s resignation, Sorrell told Sky News: "As a shareowner, I’m very saddened and disturbed by the departure of Hugo Shong from the WPP board, particularly at a time when WPP is trying to develop and reposition its business in China.

"Along with Ruigang-Li, over the last [six] years, he has been a significant factor in the growth and development of WPP's China business in what is now its third largest market. It is not good news."

Sorrell has previously hit out at WPP, the company he built into the world's largest marketing services group, following his abrupt departure in April over misconduct involving company funds. At Cannes Lions last month he complained about his treatment by WPP blamed a high-level leak for his exit. 

A WPP spokesman provided the following statement in reaction to Sorrell’s remarks: "While the board was sorry that Hugo felt he could no longer serve as a director with the increased pressure on his time and availability, it is pleased that he will continue to assist WPP's businesses in China going forward, and WPP's board is also privileged to have Ruigang Li among its non-executive talent."

Source:
Campaign UK

Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

2 days ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

2 days ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

2 days ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.