April 19, 2018 / 7:11 AM / a year ago

Sky CEO Darroch: 'I have no interest in running WPP'

FILE PHOTO - BSkyB Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch speaks at the CBI annual conference in London November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Sky SKYB.L Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said he had no interest in running WPP (WPP.L), the world’s biggest ad group which is searching for a new chief executive after the abrupt departure of Martin Sorrell on Saturday.

Whoever is named as Sorrell’s successor will inherit a difficult task, with WPP publishing its weakest results since the financial crisis in March and analysts speculating that the group could be broken up without Sorrell at its helm.

A WPP insider suggested that Sorrell’s departure could represent a new beginning for the company, saying he was sad that Sorrell was leaving but there was “a mood of change”.

“I think some people might feel a bit liberated,” Stephen Allan, CEO of MediaCom, which is part of WPP, told the BBC.

Deciding WPP’s future is not a job Sky’s Darroch wants. He had been suggested as a possible candidate by industry insiders.

“I have no interest in running WPP, thank you very much,” he said on Thursday after the pay-TV group reported its third-quarter results.

“Good luck to them in their change. I wish them well, but I am very happy just focusing on Sky.”

Sky, one of Britain’s biggest advertisers, reappointed WPP’s MediaCom as its media buying and planning agency earlier this month.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; additional reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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