Fisons ends long hunt for finance director

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The Independent Online
FISONS, the beleaguered pharmaceuticals group, has filled one of its board vacancies with the appointment of David Hankinson as finance director.

Mr Hankinson has the distinction of being one of the shortest- serving finance directors at a large company. He joined Ranks Hovis McDougall, the food group, from Lucas in October 1992 on the same day Hanson launched a pounds 780m bid. RHM was eventually acquired by Tomkins and Mr Hankinson left last March after less than four months in the job.

Fisons has been searching for a finance director since last autumn when Roy Thomas announced his decision to retire. He left at the same time as Cedric Scroggs, dismissed as chief executive after losing the confidence of the board.

A spokeswoman said Fisons had seen a number of candidates to replace Mr Scroggs, 'but so far no one who fits the bill has come forward'. She added that the group had widened its search beyond the pharmaceutical industry to managers from hi-tech sectors.

She said Mr Hankinson was skilled in City relations, which Fisons believes is more important than direct experience of the pharmaceuticals industry.

The departures of Mr Scroggs and Mr Thomas came after a series of disasters for Fisons, starting with the resignation of the previous chairman, John Kerridge, at the beginning of 1992. A series of profit warnings followed and Fisons is expected to reveal next week that it barely broke even in 1993. Its shares were unchanged at 127p.