Shock as AA chiefs quit after June float

 

The AA’s chief executive and finance director both quit yesterday, just two months after Britain’s largest roadside-assistance group joined the London Stock Exchange.

The 109-year-old group said that its head Chris Jansen – who only took the job at the start of the year – has left with immediate effect, and executive chairman Bob Mackenzie is taking over the day-to-day running of the business. The finance chief, Andy Boland, is also leaving, although his departure date is still to be confirmed.

It is understood that Mr Mackenzie will continue indefinitely in this role, as headhunters have not yet been appointed to find a successor to Mr Jansen.

Mr Mackenzie, the former chief executive of rival Green Flag, led a management buy-in of the company from its former private equity owners –Permira, Charterhouse and CVC – before June’s float.

He said: “We completely understand and respect Chris’s desire to seek new challenges outside the AA.

“When the management buy-in team acquired the business, backed by many leading institutional investors, we knew that this would create change at the AA. We wish Chris all the best.”

However, Mr Jansen’s departure is likely to raise eyebrows given that he has been in the job for less than eight months, having previously worked at Centrica where he was a senior executive at British Gas.

He said: “I was appointed by the previous private equity owners as the chief executive to improve the business and to enable a change of ownership to take place. Bob and his executive colleagues did a great job raising the finance to acquire the business and as a result my role has now changed substantially.”

The AA styles itself as “the fourth emergency service”. It was valued at £1.4bn when it listed in a so-called accelerated initial public offering.

Although the AA’s shares slumped 7.2 per cent below the 250p offer price on its first day, they have since more than recovered. Yesterday they edged up 2.25p to 278p.

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