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".

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Market Risk Manager - Investment Banking - Mandarin Speaker

£45,000 - £65,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is a well-known APAC Corporate and...

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain