Serco chairman Alastair Lyons steps down from scandal-hit outsourcer

Announcement comes a week after the firm slashed profits guidance and wrote down its value by £1.5 billion

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The Independent Online

Serco’s chairman Alastair Lyons has become the latest victim of the outsourcer’s turbulent year of multi-million-pound fines, a Government ban and profit warnings as he announced his departure.

His decision comes after Boris Bikes operator Serco last week saw shares plunge by 35 per cent after issuing its fourth profit warning in 12 months, writing £1.5 billion off the value of its business, suspending its dividend and admitting it could breach banking covenants.

Serco is still paying for overcharging the taxpayer by tens of millions of pounds for tagging criminals who were actually dead or imprisoned — which saw chief executive Chris Hyman resign.

 

Lyons today referred to  “operational mis-steps” for which he took “ultimate responsibility”, but  said he had not been forced out. He claimed “colleagues have asked me not to resign, [but] it has been my intention to step down once a new strategy and direction for the business were  in place.”

Lyons, 61, has been Serco’s chairman for the last four years, with the same role at insurers Admiral and Towergate, and  deputy chairman of housebuilder Bovis. He will depart once his replacement is announced.

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New chief executive Rupert Soames heaped praise on Lyons, saying “nobody could have worked harder or done more” to help build “a solid future for Serco.”

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