Imperial Tobacco names Karen Witts independent non-exec director


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The Independent Online

Alison Cooper, chief executive of Imperial Tobacco and one of only four women at the top of FTSE 100 companies, was today joined by another female in her boardroom.

Karen Witts, finance director of retailer B&Q, joins the Imps board with effect from tomorrow as a non-executive director. That will mean Imps has three women on its 12-strong board of directors — meeting the target set by Lord Davies in his report on female representation in boardrooms in his 2011 report.

The other female non-executive at Imps is former Littlewoods chief executive Susan Murray.

Witts, 50, joined B&Q owner Kingfisher from Vodafone where she was in charge of finance for its Africa, Middle East, Asia and Asia Pacific regions. She trained at EY and has worked for Mars, Diageo, Paribas and BT.

Mark Williamson, who took over as chairman of Imps from Iain Napier at today’s annual meeting, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Karen to the board. Her skills and expertise will be of tremendous benefit to the business.”