Nationwide sacks director three days after relocation

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The Independent Online
NATIONWIDE Building Society has sacked its corporate strategy director, John Hutchinson, three days after he uprooted his family from London to a newly purchased house in Swindon, because the society was relocating there.

Mr Hutchinson, who was headhunted from Lloyds Bank in 1990 to run the society's retail operations, yesterday confirmed he was dismissed last Wednesday by Nationwide's chief executive Tim Melville-Ross.

'It's true. The official line the society is using internally is that there is a need for the society to focus on its core business and that my strategic planning area is - how shall I put it? - reduced in importance.'

Mr Hutchinson, 48, was in charge of strategic and corporate planning, marketing and the estate agency chain. A main board director, he is thought to have been on a salary of about pounds 160,000.

A compensation package is being negotiated. Nationwide has already agreed to compensate Mr Hutchinson for the inconvenience of moving: he moved from London to a house in Swindon last week. His daughter is in her A-level year.

The ill-timed sacking is another blow for the accident-prone Nationwide, Britain's second biggest society.

The decision to relocate to Swindon came only six months after it moved into a plush new headquarters building in London last December.

A Nationwide spokesman said last night: 'We can confirm that he is no longer with us.'