BAE chairman returns to back seat after bust-up

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The Independent Online

Dick Olver, the chairman of BAE Systems, has agreed to step back from day-to-day involvement in the running of the defence and aerospace contractor after clashing with the company's chief executive Mike Turner.

Dick Olver, the chairman of BAE Systems, has agreed to step back from day-to-day involvement in the running of the defence and aerospace contractor after clashing with the company's chief executive Mike Turner.

Mr Olver, who took on the £500,000 a year job of chairing BAE on a part-time, non-executive basis nine months ago, had upset some of his boardroom colleagues by getting involved in areas of the business that are normally the responsibility of executive directors. He has now agreed to revert to the traditional non-executive chairman's role of managing the board and helping determine and communicate company strategy.

BAE sources insisted, however, that there had not been any major boardroom bust-up and that Mr Olver and Mr Turner were united on the strategy of the company going forwards.

A source said: "People felt that he was taking on more of an executive role than was expected and getting involved in the nitty gritty of running the business. There was a discussion on the board and Dick was asked to lay off it a bit."

Mr Turner is said to have deputed BAE's senior independent director Sir Peter Mason, the chief executive of Amec, to raise the matter with Mr Olver two weeks ago. However, BAE sources denied that Mr Olver had been presented with an ultimatum to either stand back or face being ousted.

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