Chairman among Lonrho directors set to resign

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The Independent Online
FOUR Lonrho directors including Rene Leclezio, the chairman, are expected to quit the board later in the present financial year with individual compensation payments thought to range as high as pounds 800,000.

The four directors of the international conglomerate are long-standing allies of 'Tiny' Rowland, the joint chief executive, and the move - to be announced today - is likely to shift the power balance on the board further in favour of Dieter Bock, who joined Lonrho a year ago.

As well as Mr Leclezio, those expected to leave are Paul Spicer and Robert Dunlop, deputy chairmen, and Sir Peter Youens.

They have been negotiating packages amounting to about two years' pay. The agreements they reach will have to be put to shareholders at the annual meeting in March.

Under the company's articles of association directors can only be removed with the unanimous approval of the board, including the director leaving, which puts the four in a strong position to negotiate generous packages.

Last year Mr Bock persuaded the board to appoint non-executives for the first time in two decades as part of a gradual shift in his favour. But Mr Rowland has continued a rearguard action against the erosion of his influence over the company.

It was made clear last night that the four directors would not be leaving immediately. They will stay until well into the financial year. Three of them will not be replaced, though a new chairman will be appointed to replace Mr Leclezio.