Board changes please investors
Wednesday 07 February 1996
Boardrooms at a whole series of Britain's big companies have trembled over the past year as an unprecedented list of long-serving managers have been suddenly and often brutally cast into the wilderness. But institutional investors - which have been behind many of the changes - are almost as one in welcoming the increased pressure on directors to perform.
Arguably the most spectacular shake-up was November's dramatic simultaneous departure from the board of Cable & Wireless of both Lord Young and James Ross, respectively chairman and chief executive, following a bitter public spat.
The issue in contention here, as with many of the other boardroom bust- ups, was the way the company has been led. Signs of a big split on the C&W board emerged in September when Duncan Lewis resigned after less than a year at the head of the Mercury Communications subsidiary, allegedly citing policy differences over the direction of the group.
There then followed an extraordinary public debate about the merits of Lord Young's near five-year tenure of the chair, culminating in November's dramatic denouement.
Almost as extraordinary a saga was Richard Reynolds's sudden exit from the board of GEC. Mr Reynolds, chairman of the GPT telecommunications operation, was apparently dismayed at being sidelined as the successor to Lord Weinstock, the legendary managing director who is likely to step down this year. But his decision also brought into the open a boardroom battle as to how the succession was being handled.
City investors are generally unsympathetic to these enforced career changes.
John Manser, chairman of Robert Fleming, said: "As a generalisation, the need to succeed is ever more present. Due to the quickening of business life, a relative small failure can turn into a disaster in a very short period of time." He believes it is good for company boards to know that they are accountable to shareholders.
Tom Crombie at Scottish Equitable echoed that thought. "Someone's got to be the fall guy and we shouldn't be too kind ... I don't think most of the [departures] were undeserved."
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...