Prudential's Bloomer is ousted over rights issue

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Bloomer, the embattled chief executive of Prudential who has been under fire since surprising the City with a £1bn rights issue last October, was finally ousted from the group yesterday. He paid with his job for a catalogue of mistakes made towards the end of his tenure.

Jonathan Bloomer, the embattled chief executive of Prudential who has been under fire since surprising the City with a £1bn rights issue last October, was finally ousted from the group yesterday. He paid with his job for a catalogue of mistakes made towards the end of his tenure.

Mr Bloomer, who will stand down at the company's annual meeting on 5 May, is to be replaced by Mark Tucker, the finance director of HBOS and former head of Prudential's Asian operations.

Mr Tucker left Prudential almost two years ago after it became clear that he was unlikely to secure the group's top job in the short term. He then joined HBOS last April, taking over as the group's finance director just three months ago. He will take up his new position on 6 May.

Sir David Clementi, Prudential's chairman, conceded that he had been looking for a successor to Mr Bloomer since last autumn's rights issue, when several of the company's largest shareholders made public calls for the chief executive's head.

"It's true that there was a clamour at the end of last year, and a number of institutional shareholders who saw me made it clear they were unhappy," he said. "But I thought that was not a good time to be making a decision. I was not willing to yield to pressure at that time.

"I think a number of institutional shareholders are much milder now than they were in the autumn. But the attitude was that they would in due course want to see change, and that was very much my view."

He said that although he had looked at a number of potential replacements for Mr Bloomer, Mr Tucker was "top of our list".

Mr Bloomer admitted he was disappointed with the board's decision, but said it was "part of the ups and downs of corporate life". However, he said there had been no bad feeling over the decision. "Personally, it's quite liberating, because it gives me the opportunity to sit back and see what I'd like to do," he said.

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