Martin Sorrell


Sir Martin Stuart Sorrell (m. 1963) is a British businessman and the chief executive officer (CEO) of WPP plc.

Sorrell was born in London on 14 February 1945 and was educated at the independent Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, before reading Economics at Christ's College. He then gained an  MBA from Harvard University.

After graduating, Sorrell joined Glendinning Associates, then James Gulliver and then worked for the sports agent Mark McCormack. He joined Saatchi & Saatchi in 1975, and was group finance director from 1977 until 1984. In 1985, Sorrell privately invested in Wire and Plastic Products, a British wire shopping basket  manufacturer, and joined full-time as Chief Executive in 1986.

Sorrell is currently CEO of WPP plc, which has become one of the world's leading communications services and advertising companies. WPP's operating companies provide national, multi-national and global clients with advertising, media investment management, information and consultancy, public relations and public affairs, branding and identity, healthcare communications, direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing, and specialist communications services. WPP employs 140,000 people in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. Together with the creative agency networks, JWT, Ogilvy and Mather, Young & Rubicam and Grey, it is one of the "Big Four" major players in the global advertising industry.

In 1997, Sorrell was appointed an Ambassador for British Business by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and subsequently appointed to the Office's Panel 2000 aimed at rebranding Britain abroad. In 1999 he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment to serve on the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership.

He is a Governor of London Business School, and a member of the Advisory Boards of both the Judge Business School in Cambridge, UK and IESE in Spain. He is also Chairman of the Global Advisory Board of the Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM), at the University of Cambridge. In 1998, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Associates of Harvard Business School and to the Board of the Indian School of Business. He was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honors. On 27 September 2007, Sorrell was awarded the Harvard Business School’s highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award.