Turnaround expert to head up Jarvis

Jarvis appointed a new chief executive yesterday and had to leap to the defence of bonus payments made to past directors at its annual meeting.

Jarvis appointed a new chief executive yesterday and had to leap to the defence of bonus payments made to past directors at its annual meeting.

Steve Norris, the Conservative politician who is the chairman of the troubled engineering and construction group, told angry shareholders that the directors who ran Jarvis at the time of the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002 deserved the bonuses they received for that year. He insisted that investigations had shown that management failures could not be blamed for the accident.

"We had a straightforward duty to pay a bonus once the requirements of those bonuses had been met," Mr Norris said. "There was no question of reward for failure against a background of losses. We paid it before the loss was identified."

Jarvis came close to collapse this year, breaching covenants on its debts. The company awarded pay-offs totalling more than £1m to the directors it ousted in 2003. Paris Moayedi, the former chairman, received a £565,400 pay-off and a £19,500 contribution to his pension.

In addition, the company's report and accounts, published last month, show that six directors received "performance" bonuses worth more than £800,000 for the year to April 2003, the period covering the Potters Bar crash, when seven people died after a train was derailed by a faulty set of points maintained by Jarvis.

John Farmer, one of about 100 shareholders at the AGM, complained that shares were worth between £5 and £6 before the rail crash but were now worth only about 30p. He said to Mr Norris: "I query your suitability to stay in the job. You have presided over a shambles."

Although the indignant shareholders voted against the company's remuneration policy, counting proxy votes lodged before the event, the resolution on pay received the backing of 84 per cent of votes cast.

Ahead of the AGM, Jarvis announced that Alan Lovell, a former boss of Dunlop Slazenger, had been appointed chief executive with immediate effect. His predecessor, Kevin Hyde, had been eased out of Jarvis a month ago.

It is understood that Mr Lovell was the choice of the banks that essentially run Jarvis after it breached the terms of its loans. He has acquired a reputation as a turnaround specialist. Before Dunlop, he led Costain, another troubled engineering and construction group.

Mr Norris said the restructuring, under Mr Lovell, would be "painful but deliverable".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most