Eurotunnel in turmoil as finance chief Burge quits

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The Independent Online

Eurotunnel was dealt a fresh blow last night after its finance director quit following the shareholder rebellion that saw the entire board of the company ousted a fortnight ago.

Roger Burge, who joined Eurotunnel in 1992 and had been finance director since 2002, said he had decided to leave for "personal reasons". Sources close to the Channel Tunnel operator said Mr Burge no longer felt he could work credibly with the new all-French board led by chairman Jacques Maillot, the founder of the leisure group Nouvelles Frontières and chief executive Jean-Louis Raymond, a former retailer.

"Roger met the new board and made a judgement as to whether he could work with them," said a friend of the former finance director.

There had been doubts about whether Mr Burge would stay following the removal of Eurotunnel's former chief executive Richard Shirrefs, particularly in view of his strong association with the rescue plan, Project Galaxie, put forward by the previous board.

His departure will raise concerns that other senior management within Eurotunnel may chose to leave the company. If any others among the executive team were to leave - notably Alain Bertrand the infrastructure director, Dave Pointon, the technical director, Daniel Spinath, the director of passenger services, or Bill Dix, the director of solutions - it would blow a hole in the operational management of the tunnel. A source said: "Uncertainty is rife. There is a surreal atmosphere about the place."