John Wren, the CEO of the second largest advertising agency holding group in the world, Omnicom, received $US24 million in compensation in 2014 — the same year as his company’s failed $US35 billion merger attempt with France-based Publicis Groupe.
Wren’s total compensation was up 33% on 2013, according to the company’s latest SEC filings.
Wren’s base salary was $US1 million, but 95% of his compensation is tied into performance. He also receives other personal benefits such including $US82,751 for personal use of aircraft, an auto allowance of $US9,120, a medical allowance of $US4,000, and a “years of service award” of $US5,000.
While Wren’s take-home might seem high, it is less than half of that of WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay package. He is set to receive $US53 million in share awards this year, on top of his $US1.6 million salary. In 2013, Publicis Groupe’s Maurice Lévy earned $US6.3 million in total compensation (the company’s annual report for 2014 is not yet out.)
Lévy admitted last year that Publicis was the more interested partner in the proposed merger with Omnicom, which may explain why Omnicom — and Wren’s pay — were relatively unaffected by the merger’s collapse.
Omnicom posted a 5% lift in revenue to $US15.3 billion, and a 11.4% rise in net profit to $US1.1 billion in the 12 months to December 31.
Publicis Groupe suffered a torrid first nine months of the year but managed to pull it back in the fourth quarter, reporting a 4.3% lift in revenue for the full-year to €7.23 billion ($US7.8 billion,) and a 4.7% rise in headline profit to €829 million ($US890 million).
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