Pubs chief to head Institute of Directors

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The Independent Online

The Management of the ailing pubs group Eldridge Pope was thrown into confusion yesterday after Miles Templeman, its executive chairman, said he is to become director-general of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The Management of the ailing pubs group Eldridge Pope was thrown into confusion yesterday after Miles Templeman, its executive chairman, said he is to become director-general of the Institute of Directors (IoD).

Mr Templeman will join the IoD in October for a five-year term. He inherits an organisation with 54,000 members which has changed its focus recently from political lobbying to professional advice.

He joined Eldridge only six months ago on a part-time basis but with executive powers. Yesterday's announcement left his future on its board up in the air, as well as his positions on a number of other boards. As well as Eldridge, he is also a non-executive director at Yo! Sushi, the brewer Shepherd Neame, and Ben Sherman.

"Eldridge was having a tough time last year and when I joined, the board wanted more of my time than a non-executive would give. So they created the unusual role of a part-time executive chairman," Mr Templeman said. "I have now got to sit down with all the boards I am on to figure out how I am going to allocate my time. The IoD is a full-time job, although I do want to keep some of my non-executive roles. But it would be impossible and inappropriate for me to keep them all." He may stay on at Eldridge as a non-executive, or may leave the board entirely.

Mr Templeman, a former chief executive of Bulmer Holdings, took over from Christopher Pope - a member of the family that founded Eldridge - who stepped down in January. At the time, Eldridge had slipped into the red after fierce competition among high street pub chains.

Since Mr Templeman joined, Eldridge has issued another profits warning as heavy price discounting on the high street has continued. Shares in the group closed down 2 per cent .

Mr Templeman denied that he was leaving the pubs chain in the lurch. "There is a very good executive team there," he said.

Susan Barratt stepped up from her position as finance director to chief executive of Eldridge in June last year.

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