BA's Broughton to become next CBI president

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Martin Broughton, the chairman of British Airways, is to become the new voice of British business after being named yesterday as the next president of the employers' organisation, the CBI.

Mr Broughton, 59, will take over from the current president, John Sunderland, the chairman of Cadbury Schweppes, in January and will serve a two-and-a-half year term.

His appointment comes after David Arculus was forced to step down as the CBI's president-elect in the wake of severe criticisms levelled by the water regulator against Severn Trent during the time he was chairman of the company. Ofwat fined Severn Trent heavily after an investigation revealed that the company had deliberately lied to the regulator about its income and bad-debt levels. Mr Arculus had been due to take over as president next month.

Mr Broughton will be the second BA chairman to act as CBI president. Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge served in that position from 1996 to 1998.

His appointment means that the CBI will be under entirely new leadership, having recruited Richard Lambert, the former editor of the Financial Times and member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, to succeed Sir Digby Jones, the organisation's long-standing director general, from next month.

Prior to becoming chairman of BA, Mr Broughton spent 30 years with the tobacco company BAT, eventually becoming its chief executive. A non-smoker, he caused controversy at BAT by confessing that smoking was bad for health and saying he would advise his children never to take up the habit.

Mr Broughton is a member of the CBI's president's committee and a former chairman of its companies committee. He is also the current chairman of the British Horseracing Board - a post from which he steps down at the end of this year.