GEC close to naming Weinstock's successor


Speculation was growing last night that defence electronics group General Electric Company was on the verge of finalising a job package to be offered to Lord Weinstock's successor.

Sources said yesterday that a GEC board meeting on Monday would approve the terms of an appointment, but there was no news about whether George Simpson, the frontrunner for the managing director's post, had been formally offered the job.

Lucas, where Mr Simpson has been chief executive for almost a year, publishes its results on Tuesday and company insiders said there were no plans to make an announcement about his future.

Rumours about Mr Simpson's possible departure continue to unsettle the company, and one manager said yesterday: "The feeling around here is that it is not a matter of if he goes, but when."

GEC, which holds quarterly board meetings, has said it would make an announcement in the spring, and that Lord Weinstock would move aside probably by the end of the year.

One manager within the GEC empire, ruled by Lord Weinstock for 33 years, said yesterday: "We are all looking to Monday for some news; or at least some announcement soon afterwards."

He believed that Mr Simpson's appointment was not as certain as some commentators believed, and that Peter Gershon, who runs GEC-Marconi, was still a serious contender.

"Mr Simpson is a car industry man through and through and there are still those who believe he will find the transition to a company like GEC hard despite his experience with British Aerospace," he said.

Mr Simpson's contract expires in April 1997 and the shareholders' annual meeting was told last year that he would see it out. But there has been talk that GEC was negotiating to buy-out the remainder of his contract.

The situation is also complicated by whether Lord Weinstock, 71, intends to stay on at the company in some honorary position, which would inevitably raise questions about his influence over a new chief executive.

Mr Simpson joined the automotive and aerospace engineering group from BAe, where he was deputy chief executive and head of the Rover Cars unit, sold Germany's BMW at the start of 1994.

A Lucas spokesman said: "George Simpson has a contract with Lucas, he is here and we are getting on with running a successful business."

Rumours about his impending move to GEC are said to have leaked out after a senior GEC executive had dinner with two analysts, and the rumours have circulated in the City ever since.

One former colleague told the Independent yesterday: "Sometimes I believe these rumours are reheated every few weeks to spark a reaction from GEC. I believe George is an honourable man, and if he had said he is not going, then he will not go."

Nor was he sure that Mr Simpson was right for GEC. "Someone in that job has to be a person who can stomp the corridors of power and operate at the inter-governmental level. I wonder whether George is the man to do that."

Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
premier league
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam