Column Eight: A dark horse at the top

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Oilman Sir Peter Holmes, the adventurous chairman of Shell Transport and Trading, is to hang up his donkey jacket on 1 July. Sir Peter, who counts skiing, mountaineering and exploring among his leisure pursuits, hands over to John Jennings, a Shell man for 30 years, who also continues as managing director of the Royal Dutch/Shell group.

Shell manages to make Mr Jennings sound rather a dull fish beside Sir Peter, who also found time to win the Military Cross in the Korean War. Alas, Mr Jennings, a keen fly-fisherman, was on a flight to Japan and unable to flesh out his meagre CV, nor tell how he came to be awarded the Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Merite by the central African state of Gabon.

The grandly titled Employers' Forum, the brainchild of actuaries R Watson & Sons, has settled on the discussion topic for its inaugural meeting next month: 'Aspects of Termination of Employment.'

More than a million learners drove their first few kangaroo-ing miles in a Metro. But not for much longer. The British School of Motoring, the UK's biggest driving school, is to scrap its deal with Rover, and yesterday proudly removed the polythene covers from a new agreement with Vauxhall.

BSM, which hopes to float on the stock market this year, is to buy 50,000 Corsa cars worth pounds 400m at showroom prices over the next 10 years. The Corsa is an updated version of the Nova. The marque has always been known as Corsa in Spain, where a loose translation of Nova is 'doesn't go'.

David Dworkin, the outgoing chief executive of Storehouse, will not leave empty-handed. As well as his pounds 414,000 salary and a special dollars 4m bonus paid two months ago, the quiet American is also being allowed to exercise all 1,415,000 of his share options, following a discretionary decision of the board. Even after the share price fall of the last few days, these are yielding a profit of pounds 830,000.

Meanwhile, Graham Rider, who 12 months ago was a junior bean counter at Woolworth, is celebrating. Appointed BhS finance director last February and elevated to Storehouse finance director on the departure of David Simons to Isosceles in December, Mr Rider was yesterday given the extra job of acting MD of Storehouse's main chain BhS.

Sign of the times 1: If current negotiations prove successful, then Ravenscraig, the giant Scottish steelworks closed last June, is to be shipped lock, stock and barrel to the Indonesian firm PT Gunawan Dianjaya for installation probably in Malaysia.

Sign of the times 2: The Imry property group is offering five rent-free years to the tenant of a refurbished office block in London's Mayfair. Says a despondent Imry man: 'Demand for even the best buildings at the moment is, quite frankly, appalling.'

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