Ex-C4 chief Andy Duncan takes over at HR Owen

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The Independent Online

Former Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan has returned to corporate life, it emerged yesterday, as a luxury car salesman.

Mr Duncan was yesterday unveiled as the new chief executive of HR Owen, following a four-month search by the motor retailers.

Jon Walden, chairman of HR Owen, said the appointment was a "real coup" for the group, backing his "outstanding track record in general management, marketing and sales, together with his extensive experience of the fast-changing new technology of the internet".

Mr Duncan left C4 in September last year, and will take on his new role next month. "HR Owen is an exciting business which sells even more exciting products in a challenging and dynamic industry," he said yesterday.

He was appointed chief executive of C4 in 2004, overseeing a lift in the share of the broadcaster's UK viewing, as well as the share of the advertising market.

Yet, his tenure ended under a cloud. After months of negotiations he failed to seal a tie-up with BBC Worldwide for a joint venture designed to put the group on a sound financial footing, making his departure inevitable. Before joining the broadcaster, he was an executive board member at the BBC, where he was director of marketing, communications and audiences.

The company he is joining can trace its roots back to 1932, when Harold Rolfe Owen opened a dealership selling Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars. Mr Duncan takes over from Nick Lancaster who left in May.