Davies steps up drive for women on Chime board

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Chime Communications' chairman Lord Davies, who led a 2011 report into the lack of women on City boards, has hired a second female non-executive in as many months.

The appointment of Irish-born Clare Gilmartin, eBay's boss for UK and Europe, follows the arrival of Vin Murria, the chief executive of AIM-listed Advanced Software Group, as a non-executive director last month.

Lord Davies was briefly in the awkward position of having no women on the marketing group's board this year as he shook it up. He is under pressure to respond to investors after 57 per cent failed to back the 2012 bonus scheme and 48 per cent failed to back the remuneration report.

Some were unhappy about Chime's plan to use "discretion" to pay bonuses in shares worth over 200 per cent of salary "in exceptional circumstances" to executive directors, including the chief executive Chris Satterthwaite. Richard Alstom, a member of the remuneration committee, is quitting as a non-executive after five years at the same time as Ms Gilmartin arrives.

The group, which has a big sports marketing arm and owns VCCP, the agency behind the Compare the Market meerkat campaign, hailed Ms Gilmartin's digital expertise, especially in mobile. She has worked at eBay for over a decade since joining at the age of 26. Her appointment is part of a trend for boards to recruit directors with a digital background.

Chime has been refocusing on sport, advertising and digital after selling a majority stake in PR arm Bell Pottinger.