Sir Martin Sorrell founded WPP, the world’s largest advertising and marketing services group in 1985 and has been chief executive throughout.
WPP companies, which include some of the most eminent agencies in the business, provide clients with advertising, media investment management, data investment management, public relations and public affairs, branding and identity, healthcare communications, direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing and specialist communications services.
Collectively, WPP employs over 190,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices in 112 countries. The Group’s worldwide companies include J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, Y&R, Grey, Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom, Kantar (including Millward Brown and TNS), Wunderman, Burson-Marsteller, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Landor, Brand Union, Fitch, The Partners, AKQA and WPP Digital. Clients include 344 of the Fortune Global 500, all 30 of the Dow Jones 30 and 69 of the NASDAQ 100. In 2014, WPP had revenues of $19 billion and billings of $76 billion.
Sir Martin actively supports the advancement of international business schools – advising Harvard, IESE, the Indian School of Business, the China Europe International Business School and Fundação Dom Cabral Business School in Brazil. He has been publicly recognised with a number of awards including the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award. In the Time 100 “Builders & Titans” he was voted one of the world’s most influential figures in business. He was also nominated for CNBC’s First 25 List (“Rebels, Icons and Leaders”) of people judged to have had the most profound impact on business and finance in the last 25 years. He received a knighthood in January 2000. He was recently awarded the 2014 Hugo Shong Lifetime Achievement Award in Communication by Boston University’s College of Communications. In October 2015, Sir Martin was named the fifth best-performing CEO by Harvard Business Review.
Sir Martin contributes to many important organisations and charities. Sir Martin is a non-executive director of Alpha Topco, the Formula 1 company and Alcoa. He is on the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum International Business Council (having been chairman from 2010-2012) and a member of the Business Council in the US. He is a member of the corporate Advisory Group of the Tate Gallery and on the International Advisory Board of The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In 2010 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Stanhope Capital and Bowmark Capital Group.