Kingfisher sheds two more
Tuesday 14 February 1995
The shake-up sees the departure of Nigel Whittaker, Kingfisher's corporate affairs director and one of the original members of the management buyout team that founded the company in 1982. Tim Breene, the strategy director who joined the board last year, will also be leaving. Their roles "are no longer appropriate", the company said.
Both are on controversial three-year rolling contracts and will be entitled to substantial compensation. Mr Whittaker draws a salary of £410,000, so he could be entitled to up to £1.2m. Mr Breene's salary is not disclosed in the latest annual report.
Their departures are part of a strategy review that will see the head office staff reduced from 100 to 60. Most of the positions will be redeployed within the operational business but there will be some redundancies. Costs at Kingfisher's head office, once a model of corporate thrift, have mushroomed to around £15m a year.
The clear-out means that four of the top board directors have left the troubled high street retailer since a profits warning in January. Last month Kingfisher announced that the chief executive, Alan Smith, and finance director, James Kerr-Muir, were to leave the group and that the former chairman, Sir Geoff Mulcahy, was to take the reins as chief executive.
Neither Mr Whittaker nor Mr Breene will depart immediately. Mr Whittaker will stay on "for a while" to hand over some of his responsibilities.
Sir Geoff said: "What we are doing is refocusing management more clearly and making those responsible for running the businesses more accountable. Unfortunately changes of this kind means casualties. We are sorry to be losing both Nigel and Tim. In particular I would like to thank Nigel for his contribution over many years."
Nigel Whittaker declined to comment yesterday but a spokesman said: "It's been a long-term partnership and I imagine it is quite an emotional time for them. It's not been easy for Geoff to make a decision like this."
Analysts regarded the departures as inevitable. One said: "They have paid the price for the previous problems. It was difficult to justify their position on the board." Another said the clear-out intensified the pressure on Sir Geoff to turn Kingfisher around. "The director changes were unavoidable stuff but it does not alter the critical problem of how they run the businesses in tough markets."
The shares dipped 3p to 426p.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...