Former Jaguar chief Egan to take chairman's role at Severn Trent

Sir John Egan, the former chief executive of Jaguar and the airports operator BAA, is to become the new chairman of the Midlands-based water and waste company, Severn Trent.

Sir John Egan, the former chief executive of Jaguar and the airports operator BAA, is to become the new chairman of the Midlands-based water and waste company, Severn Trent.

He will join the company's board in October and take up the post next January, succeeding David Arculus who is moving on to become chairman of the mobile operator mmO 2 later this month.

Sir John, who recently stepped down as president of the CBI, the employers' organisation, will be paid £215,000 for a two-day week and will receive 15 per cent of his salary in form of Severn Trent shares.

Mr Arculus said Sir John's experience, particularly of regulation, would be of special benefit to Severn Trent. His appointment completes the overhaul of the company's top management. Colin Matthews of Hays is taking over as chief executive in September from Robert Walker while the finance director, Alan Perelman, is also retiring, to be replaced by Mark Wilson, the head of finance at the group's water division.

Sir John, the chairman of Inchcape, the UK's biggest car dealership, began his career in the car industry, working for General Motors and then British Leyland before moving to Jaguar, where he led its privatisation and then engineered its sale to Ford. He was chief executive of BAA for nine years from 1990 to 1999.

A sceptic as far as British membership of the single currency is concerned, Sir John was president of the CBI at a time when its official position on euro entry was neutral. He lives in Warwickshire, part of Severn Trent's territory, and is deputy lieutenant of the county.

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