Jobs switch costs Devro pounds 390,000

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A U-TURN by Devro International over its choice of chief executive-designate, provoked by pressure from institutional investors, has cost the Scottish sausage-skin manufacturer pounds 390,000 in compensation payments, writes Topaz Amoore.

Devro, which is seeking a stock market listing, has agreed to pay the money to David Fyfe, who was an external candidate for its top post. He received a letter from Devro offering him the job on a three-year contract at a salary of around pounds 120,000.

Dr Fyfe, 50, did not sign a contract with Devro, but resigned last week as a managing director of Hickson International, the speciality chemicals group, after receiving the offer letter.

Yesterday Devro said an important number of institutions had shown a strong preference for an internal candidate, Graeme Alexander, in pre-flotation discussions. They felt that Dr Alexander, 43, who is currently Devro's technical director, had a more detailed knowledge of business and industry than Dr Fyfe.

Dr Alexander's appointment as chief executive-designate was confirmed yesterday. 'It is unfortunate but we wish Dr Fyfe every success in the future,' Devro said. Dr Alexander will replace Frank De Angeli, 68, who is retiring later this year.

Devro made operating profits of pounds 22m in the 12 months to December 1992, on a turnover of pounds 82.7m.