Governance groups rap Stobart over new chairman

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The Independent Online

Logistics giant Stobart Group was yesterday cautioned by corporate governance groups after appointing a new executive chairman.

Stobart said Rodney Baker-Bates, its non-executive chairman, was retiring and in his stead the firm's deputy chief executive, Avril Palmer-Baunack, would become executive chairman.

The corporate governance code reads: "There should be a clear division of responsibilities at the head of the company between the running of the board and the executive responsibility for the running of the company's business. No one individual should have unfettered powers of decision."

"The code is clear," said Paul Hewitt of shareholder advisory agency Manifest.

"The chair shouldn't have executive responsibility."

But Stobart's chief executive, Andrew Tinkler, said: "To meet the challenges and opportunities within our strategy... it is appropriate that Stobart is headed by an executive chairman."