WPP (LON:WPP) shares continued to plunge on Wednesday, after the company confirmed hiring an independent law firm to handle investigations into financial misconduct claims.
The multi-national advertising agency launchedan independent investigation into allegations of the misuse of company funds by CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, after reports circulated last week.
Sir Sorrell has been at the helm of WPP since its formation in media services back in 1989, overseeing its rise to become the largest advertising firm in the world.
WPP was originally founded as Wire and Plastics Company plc, manufacturing wire shopping baskets back in the 1970s. Sorrell eventually took the company public in 1985 in a bid to build a global marketing company under the name.
Alongside being listed on the London Stock Exchange, WPP is also listed in New York.
The firm is known as one of the “big four” agency companies, which also includes Omnicon and Publicis.
However, last month WPP warned that 2017 was “not a pretty year” in light of flat growth, and despite profits in excess of £2 billion.
Sorrell remains among one of the highest paid chief executive’s in the country.
In fact, his £70 million renumeration package for 2015-16 made headlines, marking the largest in UK corporate history.
“Reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds,” Sir Martin said in a statement.
“This allegation is being investigated by a law firm. I reject the allegation unreservedly but recognise that the company has to investigate it,” he said.
“I understand that this process will be completed shortly.”
Sir Martin added: “As a significant share owner, my commitment to the company, which I founded over thirty years ago, remains absolute – to our people, our clients, our shareholders and all of our many stakeholders. ”
“The board of WPP has appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to an allegation of personal misconduct against Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP,” the company said.
“The investigation is ongoing. The allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP.”
Shares in the company are currently trading -1.98 percent as of 12.43 PM (GMT).