Hans-Christoph Hirt, Head of Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, comments on today’s WPP AGM.
1. Succession planning
We welcome the chair’s recognition of investor concerns regarding the company’s preparedness for succession. Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s CEO and founder, has created a great deal of value since taking over as Chief Executive of the company in 1986. He is rightly regarded as one of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in the world. In light of this, the preparation for his eventual succession has been the focus of our engagement over the last years.
Succession risks appear to have moved up the company’s agenda under this chair’s leadership and management of this seems increasingly reflected in WPP’s work and communications to shareholders. However, while we appreciate the steps that the company has taken so far, we urge the chair to continue to focus on the management of succession risks.