Alcan boss to succeed Carsberg

Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, is poised to appoint a businessman, John Bridgeman, as director-general of the Office of Fair Trading.

Mr Bridgeman, 50, is managing director of British Alcan Aluminium but also has a reputation as a strategic thinker.

He is a visiting professor of management at Keele University and his previous appointments include worldwide head of strategic planning at Alcan, a company he has worked at for nearly 30 years.

Mr Bridgeman has the additional qualification of being a member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission since 1990 where he has seen the other side of the competition business, because this is where the OFT and the Government send merger and competition investigations.

Mr Bridgeman, a sportsman and a member of Glamorgan County Cricket Club, has a keen interest in the arts. A source described him as a "Nineties man" rather than a traditional businessman.

The appointment, which Mr Heseltine was unable to clinch in time for the departure of Sir Bryan Carsberg from the OFT last month, is thought to have been held up by detailed negotiations over terms and conditions, including the salary. A final decision is said to be near.

In Sir Bryan's case, at about pounds 110,000 the salary was well below senior industrialist levels, and there have been suggestions that the Government could go as high as pounds 140,000.

This week Clare Spottiswoode, the gas regulator, received a backdated 22 per cent increase to pounds 90,000 a year because her job proved more time- consuming than expected. Pay levels have been rising in other areas recently, with senior Downing Street officials and the rail regulator said to be receiving pounds 125,000 a year.

It has long been known that Mr Heseltine has no enthusiasm for seeing a lawyer or accountant at the OFT, the qualifications of the two previous incumbents. With hundreds of staff, the job specification also emphasised managerial skills, underlining Mr Heseltine's preference for a pragmatic business person who can bring an intellectual understanding of difficult issues.

One of Mr Heseltine's difficulties in recruitment has been the well-known tension between himself and Sir Bryan Carsberg. It is widely thought that Sir Bryan and Mr Heseltine failed to see eye to eye on the fundamentals of competition policy. The President took the view that in certain circumstances the need of industry to be internationally competitive should override immediate competition concerns.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing