ABB chief steps down at Anglo

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The Independent Online

Goran Lindahl, the chairman-elect of Anglo American, stepped down from his position at the company last night in the wake of the controversy over the £35m pension he secretly secured when he left the top job at ABB two years ago.

Mr Lindahl, currently deputy chairman at Anglo American, will not take on the chairman's role as planned in May. The current chairman, Julian Ogilvie Thompson, will stay in the post until a replacement is found. Mr Lindahl will remain a non-executive director.

Pressure has mounted on Mr Lindahl and Percy Barnevik, both former chief executives of ABB, the Swiss-Swedish engineering giant, after the company revealed last month that the pair had improperly secured hugely inflated pensions when they relinquished their positions. Mr Barnevik got a £61m pension lump sum when he vacated the chief executive position to Mr Lindahl in 1996. The pair have now pledged to return more than half the money.

Mr Barnevik is the chairman of AstraZeneca but is up for re-election next month at the drug company's annual general meeting. There is speculation that he will not seek re-appointment.