Lewis makes abrupt exit from Granada

Duncan Lewis, the chief executive of Granada's extensive media business, has left the company with immediate effect, following simmering and, at times, dramatic disagreements with group chief executive Charles Allen and Gerry Robinson, the chairman.

His departure immediately led to speculation he would join Cable & Wireless Communications, the new cable television and telephony group which includes Mercury, Mr Lewis's former company. C&W is actively seeking a chief executive for the group.

Neither Mr Lewis nor Granada, the hotels-to-television conglomerate, would comment in detail on his departure. In a curt statement, Granada said: "Both Duncan and Granada Group management have recognised an incompatibility of approaches and have therefore agreed to part on an amicable basis."

It is understood that Mr Lewis felt the main group management, headed by Mr Robinson and Mr Allen, were not committed enough to the media side of the business, and there had been disagreements about acquisition strategy.

Mr Lewis left the Granada headquarters on Wednesday, following a meeting with Mr Allen. He has not returned since. He had been on a rolling one- year contract of pounds 250,000 a year, which is expected to be bought out.

A spokesman for Granada said that Mr Lewis's appointment had been "a brave experiment" that had gone wrong. Added a company insider: "He didn't know anything about television, and it showed."

Granada Media Group denied there had been any basic disagreement over strategy. "In a company such as this, there has to be good relations between the group and the chief executives of the divisions," the spokesman said. "For some time, it was clear things were not going well."

It is understood that Granada's senior executives were also concerned about Mr Lewis's management style, which some have styled too "showy". As well, he is believed to have spent as much as pounds 500,000 on developing strategy papers for the media group, an amount that was viewed at head office as excessive.

There were suggestions last night that Mr Lewis had wanted to invest aggressively, and had looked at joint venture production in the US, City- TV stations in Britain and other operations on the Continent. To date, most of Granada's television investments have been confined to the ITV sector.

Some of his past colleagues have said Mr Lewis was "mercurial" and lacked focus. At Granada, his short tenure was marked by several rows with Mr Robinson and Mr Allen, who used to run the television business before rising to chief executive.

Mr Allen, the dour Scot who acts as the details man to Mr Robinson, the flamboyant strategist, was understood to have been particularly uncomfortable with Mr Lewis. Granada declined to comment on suggestions that the two had a furious row on the day Mr Lewis left the building.

Mr Lewis, 45, moved from BT to Cable & Wireless, where he rose to become chief executive of Mercury, a job he held for only nine months. His departure was said to have followed disagreements with management.

He had been a surprise choice for the job at Granada, where he oversaw the company's television interests. Granada owns the Granada and London Weekend Television franchises, 27 per cent of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, and 60 per cent of Granada Sky Broadcasting, a joint satellite television venture with Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB.

Mr Lewis's replacement is Steve Morrison, a long-serving Granada executive, who became managing director of Granada Media Group earlier this year when the operations were restructured.

Granada has been preoccupied in recent months by the need to sell unwanted hotel assets it inherited following the bitter takeover early this year of Forte, the hotels and restaurant group.

But the Granada spokesman denied the company had been neglecting its extensive media operations, pointing to its investments in ITV and its growing production businesses in the UK and overseas.

voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

£475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn