Commute becomes too much for Shanks CEO

It can happen to anyone. You think you're ambitious, and then suddenly all those hours spent commuting no longer seem worth it. For Tom Drury, the chief executive of Shanks, that time has come.

The boss of the FTSE 250-listed waste disposal company said yesterday that he was quitting his £840,000-a-year job in Milton Keynes to take on something closer to his home, 138 miles away in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Mr Drury was keen to talk up the potential at Arrow Global, the Manchester-based debt-management group in which he will take a significant shareholding and become chief executive. But he also said the commute since taking the job at Shanks had "taken its toll" and that, after four years of living away from his family, he wanted to live with them again.

Mr Drury, 49, is in distinguished company. Tim Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, is reportedly looking to quit Washington in order to spend more time with his family in New York, although he is to stay on at least until after the deadline for renegotiating the US debt ceiling in early August.

But even that commute seems paltry compared to the thousands of miles that David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, used to undertake, flying from his home in New Hampshire to take part in interest rate-setting meetings in London.

Mr Drury, who has been boss of Shanks since 2007, described his move to Arrow Global as a "lifestyle choice", after fours years of leaving home in Cheshire early on Monday morning, spending the week at a flat in Leighton Buzzard, and returning to the family late on a Friday.