Taylor Woodrow names new chief to replace Napier

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The Independent Online

Taylor Woodrow, the housebuilder, has appointed Ian Smith, who formerly worked in the healthcare and logistics sectors, as its next chief executive.

Mr Smith, 52, was the chief executive of General Healthcare Group - a provider of private hospitals - until it was sold this summer. Before he joined it in 2004, he was the head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions for the logistics company Exel, having been group commercial director for four years of its predecessor company, Ocean Group, where he operated in the United States, Asia and Europe.

From 1986 to 1998, Mr Smith was at the strategy consultancy Monitor, which he had joined upon its inception, and became chief executive of its European operations in 1993. He began his career in 1978 with the oil giant Shell, working for eight years in the UK and the Middle East.

Iain Napier, Taylor Woodrow's chief executive, announced in May that he is to retire. He will hand over to Mr Smith at the end of the year. Mr Napier is to become the non-executive chairman of Imperial Tobacco next spring.

Although Mr Smith has had no exposure to the housebuilding industry, Taylor Woodrow said that he had proven general management expertise as well as international experience.

Unusually among UK housebuilders, Taylor Woodrow has overseas operations, which contributed almost half its profits last year. The company has operations in four US states, Canada and Spain. It is the fourth biggest UK housebuilder.

Norman Askew, the chairman of Taylor Woodrow said: "We are delighted to welcome Ian and look forward to benefiting from his wide international business experience."

Mr Smith, who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School is a non-executive director of MFI. He is also an adjunct professor of business at Imperial College, London.

Separately, it emerged that David Pretty, the outgoing chief executive of the housebuilder Barratt, was paid £1.46m last year, including a £668,000 bonus, according to the company's annual report. He also exercised 180,000 share options during the year, which yielded a profit of £794,000. He will retire with a pension pot worth £904,812.

Mr Pretty joined Barratt in 1976 as a divisional managing director. He has been on the board since 1990 and the chief executive for four years. He will be replaced by Mark Clare, who joins the group from British Gas.

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