Troubled Sorrell poaches WPP veteran to help steady ship at S4 Capital

Troubled Sorrell poaches WPP veteran to help steady ship at his marketing firm S4 Capital

  • Colin Day has joined the board of S4 Capital as a non-executive director
  • He will head up its audit and risk committee

Sir Martin Sorrell has appointed a former right-hand man to help steady the ship at his beleaguered marketing firm.

S4 Capital announced that Colin Day has joined the board as a non-executive director to head up its audit and risk committee after its share price suffered a sharp drop earlier this year following an ’embarrassing’ delay to its financial results.

Day was a long-serving non-executive director at WPP, the FTSE 100 advertising giant that Sorrell created from a shell company in the 1980s.

Sir Martin Sorrell has appointed Colin Day to the board of S4 Capital

Sorrell was ousted as chief executive in 2018 amid allegations of misconduct and misuse of company assets, which he denies. 

Day spent ten years on the WPP board between 2005 and 2015, during which time he was chairman of the group’s audit committee. 

He was also a member of the board’s pay body when Sorrell was paid tens of millions of pounds per year despite protests from shareholders. For 2014, the last set of accounts before Day’s departure, Sorrell received nearly £43million.

Day also worked as chief financial officer at Dettol and Durex maker Reckitt Benckiser. And he served as chief executive of components firm Essentra and chairman of Mr Kipling cake maker Premier Foods.

Day’s arrival comes as Sorrell, 77, looks to revive S4’s flagging share price, which has plunged 77 per cent so far this year following its results fiasco, which saw the firm delay its figures just hours before their publication after auditor PwC refused to sign off the accounts. 

This was followed by a profit warning which triggered another sharp fall in the stock price.

There are also growing concerns the firm is growing too fast after Sorrell embarked on a breakneck pace of expansion after setting up the group in 2018.

It is hoped Day’s arrival will help restore investor confidence due to his long pedigree in the City, while Sorrell may appreciate having a long-serving former colleague back at his side.

It is thought that Day’s prior experience in finance will allow him to take a tougher line with auditors, possibly to prevent further issues with getting the group’s accounts signed off.