>> WPP shares sliding again Monday as investors digest the sudden weekend departure of its chief executive. Martin Sorrell, its founder and driving force for 33 years, departing off the board investigated in allegation of misconduct, which he denies. Investors are rattled, at a time of sweeping change in the advertising industry.
Reuters Columnist Liam Proud.>> There's a strong suspicion that he's the only person that really knows how all the different bits of the empire really fit together. Another problem they're gonna have is, can they actually keep the thing together? Now when the times were good, when WPP was making a lot of money for shareholders, no one really scrutinized this quite confusing structure.
Where it's basically been built up over a few decades by dozens and dozens of acquisitions. Now the shares are down about 15% this year. It's lost Sorrell. There's gonna be quite a lot of pressure to actually maybe sell some of the businesses. There's no other chocolate that looks like it.
>> Sorrell leaves as the advertising model he championed is under threat. Consumer goods giants such as Unilever and Nestle are slashing their advertising budgets, which has knocked WPP. Clients want more nimble relationships to fit the digital age rather than classic branding, advertising and research.>> A bigger kind of long running thing is that you don't necessarily need to go through companies like WPP in an age where you can go straight to Google and Facebook.
So a lot of companies are choosing to basically cut out middle men, in that sense. And that was basically the cash cow for a long time for WPP was just buying advertising space for these big companies. So it's not really clear exactly what the business model will look like in 10 or 15 years, given that Google and Facebook account for almost all of the growth in the advertising industry online.
>> Sorrell's shoes will be hard to fill, and there are fears WPP could lose clients and talent without his contacts. No further details were released and officially, Sorrell is retiring.