Former JWT chief Gustavo Martinez part ways with WPP two months after harassment settlement

Gustavo Martinez and WPP agreed to part ways earlier today (June 7).

WPP has confirmed that Gustavo Martinez, one-time global chief of J Walter Thompson, has parted ways with the company.

Martinez and WPP had been on the losing end of a sexual harassment case filed by former JWT head of communications Erin Johnson. The case, which lasted nearly two years, ended in April with an undisclosed, but “amicable settlement” between Johnson and her former agency.

Johnson left her post after the lawsuit ended, meanwhile Martinez, who was JWT's global president and chief executive from 2013 to 2016, was still employed by WPP as a “country representative” for its affairs in Spain.

Martinez and the holding company have now agreed go their separate ways. There is no settlement agreement, Martinez will not receive any compensation for loss of role or any share awards and he leaves WPP with immediate effect.

In-between the lawsuit’s filing and Martinez’s eventual exit, the ad industry has been at the beginning phases of its own #MeToo movement. In May, Dan Fietsam was fired from his post at Laughlin Constable in Milwaukee due to sexual harassment allegations, months after the Martin Agency in Richmond fired its chief creative Joe Alexander.

This news also follows the departure of Sir Martin Sorrell, who himself was under investigation for personal misconduct allegations before leaving the company he founded in late March. Since his exit, Sorrell has since gone on to become the executive chairman of S4 Capital.

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