Temporary employment tumbles in Covid-19 – but are holding bosses feeling the pain too?


New figures from Ad Age show US agencies and other communications companies (including public relations) cut 36,400 jobs in April during the Covid-19 strike, down 7.5%. No wonder, since up to 20 million jobs in the United States have been lost so far.

But do the bosses of the big agencies also feel the pain?

Wren, Read and co. were quick to announce that they were accepting pay cuts, but the pay is only a small proportion of what they usually earn. An analysis sent to the MAA shows:

Omnicom – CEO John Wren.

What he says he does – Cut 100% of his salary for 2020.

What he actually does – In 2019, Wren earned: $ 1 million in salary, 10.625 million in cash bonuses (which are usually paid in April but because of Covid-19 will be paid later in 2020), 8.075 million dollars in bonuses paid in restricted shares, $ 118,780 in cash benefits (car, private jet allowance for personal use, pension, insurance) for a total of $ 19,818,780.

So by giving up his salary for 2020, that equates to a 5.05% reduction in overall compensation based on what he earned in 2019.

IPG – Michael Roth.

What he says he’s doing – take an undisclosed cut that “will also affect full compensation”

What he actually does – In 2019, Roth earned $ 1,650,000 in salary, $ 6,906,545 in restricted stock bonuses, $ 7,564,625 in cash bonuses, retirement benefits of $ 82,088 and ‘other cash benefits of $ 386,914, for a total of $ 16,590,172.

It’s unclear what his undisclosed cut represents, but he claims it is a deeper cut than the others.

WPP – Mark Read

What he says he’s doing – take a 20% pay cut in the second quarter.

What he actually does – In 2019, Read earned £ 975,000 in salary, £ 35,000 in benefits, £ 171,000 in retirement, £ 805,000 in cash bonus, £ 537,000 in restricted stock bonus and £ 71,000 long-term incentive for a total of £ 2,594,000.

So by giving up 20% of salary in the second quarter, that equates to a 1.88% reduction in overall compensation based on what he earned in 2019.

Side note: WPP reportedly sought a £ 600million Covid-related loan from the UK government.

Publicis – Arthur Sadoun.

What he says he does – cut the salary by 30% from April for 6 months.

What he actually does – In 2019, Sadoun earned € 1 million in salary, € 1.4 million in cash bonuses and € 865,800 in restricted stock bonuses, for a total of € 3,265,800 .

Thus, he waives € 150,000 in 2020, i.e. the equivalent of a 4.6% reduction in overall compensation based on what he earned in 2019.

Of course, these captains of industry may not receive any bonuses, stock options, expenses and everything in 2020, although large companies usually find a way to send rewards to their leaders even when – to a layman in anyway – they are in trouble. Compensation consultants are a wonderful thing if you are a CEO.

This is an edited version of an earlier story.

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