IPG's Roth Retains Both Hats

25 May 2007

NEW YORK: An attempt by Interpublic Group stockholders to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive - both currently occupied by Michael Roth - was defeated at a special meeting of shareholders on Thursday.

As was a second motion that would have allowed those holding 10% or more of the company's outstanding common stock to call special meetings. Both measures were opposed by IPG's board.

The vote on Roth's dual role roundly rejected separation, 87% declaring against, 11% in favor, and 2% abstaining.

Rocking of the leaky IPG boat was definitely not the order of the day at a meeting notable for its tranquility. Stockholders also re-elected all nine board directors for another year and reappointed longtime auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The begetter of both motions, Ken Steiner was disappointed, arguing that the measures would have led to greater accountability within the troubled advertising holding company.

Other firms, he said, had adopted similar measures: "Companies are doing it. And this company just really needs a kick in the ass."

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff