Turnaround expert to head up Jarvis
Friday 15 October 2004
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".
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...