Lukewarm welcome for Banham

NIGEL COPE

The appointment of Sir John Banham, the former director-general of the CBI, as the next chairman of troubled retail group Kingfisher met with a mixed reaction yesterday. Though analysts and institutional investors were relieved the company had finally made an appointment after a nine- month search and agreed Sir John was a high-profile choice, there were concerns his bulging portfolio of non-executive directorships and lack of retail experience would reduce his effectiveness in the role.

The company has declined to comment on Sir John's remuneration, but there are concerns over the possible salary level. Before his demotion to chief executive, Sir Geoff Mulcahy earned more than pounds 1m in his last year as Kingfisher chairman.

Kingfisher's shares closed 8p lower at 502p yesterday though the fall was attributed to the possible impact on the group's Superdrug chain after Asda's decision to cut the price of over-the-counter medicines and court a drugs price war.

One retail analyst said Sir John was "the wrong man for the job" and that Kingfisher would still be dominated by Sir Geoff . Another expressed concern that Sir John's other responsibilities might limit the time he can devote to Kingfisher. He is chairman of Tarmac and West Country Television and a non-executive director of National Westminster Bank and National Power. Kingfisher has said Sir John will spend two days a week at the company.

Another retail analyst said the appointment of a former McKinsey management consultant continued the company's apparent reliance on outside advisers. Tim Breene, the company's former strategy director, who left as a result of the boardroom shake-up, was also ex-McKinsey and Kingfisher's Marylebone Road headquarters sees a steady stream of management consultant visitors.

One institutional investor said Sir John was "a bit of an unknown quantity" in the City but that he should prove capable of fulfilling the role of an independent chairman.

He joined the company as a non-executive director yesterday and will replace Sir Nigel Mobbs early next year after Sir Nigel leaves the board after 13 years of service.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory