Inchcape appoints ex-Euro Disney head as new chief

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The Independent Online

Inchcape, the automotive services company, has appointed André Lacroix, the former head of Euro Disney, to succeed Peter Johnson as group chief executive.

Inchcape, the automotive services company, has appointed André Lacroix, the former head of Euro Disney, to succeed Peter Johnson as group chief executive.

Mr Johnson, who has headed the company for six years, will step down as CEO in January, but - contrary to corporate governance guidelines - will become the company's non-executive chairman, replacing Sir John Egan.

M. Lacroix, who unexpectedly resigned from his position as CEO and chairman of Euro Disney last month, will join the Inchcape board on 1 September, formally stepping up to his new position on 1 January. During his two years at Euro Disney, he headed a financial restructuring. He has held senior roles at Burger King and PepsiCo.

Sir John said: "In André Lacroix, we have identified a first rate successor to Peter. His skills, when combined with the extensive knowledge of the automotive industry that already exists at board level, and the strength of our senior operational management teams, will provide Inchcape with the very high quality of strategic and operational leadership required to continue the success achieved during Peter's tenure."

M. Lacroix said he was "excited" about the future of Inchcape's and was looking forward to working with Mr Johnson.

Inchcape's decision to breach the corporate governance guidelines laid down by Sir Derek Higgs, by allowing its chief executive to succeed to the position of chairman, has been criticised by shareholder groups.

Inchcape has insisted the move is "pivotal" to the company's success, adding that it would be in danger of losing several key contracts without a degree of continuity at senior management level.

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