WH Smith confirms Taylor's departure as chairman
Tuesday 01 July 2003
WH Smith, the high street retailer, yesterday confirmed that Martin Taylor is to step down as chairman, but refused to elaborate on the reasons why.
His planned departure will mean the senior management at the UK's biggest newsagent and bookseller will be completely changed. Richard Handover, the chief executive, also recently said he wanted to leave the company.
Mr Taylor is thought to have spoken to members of WH Smith's board recently about his wish to be relieved of his duties, but made it clear that he would stay on until the company has found a new chief executive.
WH Smith has hired the headhunters Egon Zhender to search for a replacement for Mr Handover and is thought to be searching internally and externally for suitable candidates.
The company refused to comment on why Mr Taylor, who joined its board in November 1999, also wants to leave WH Smith. There has been no suggestion that he has fallen out with other members of the board or that his colleagues have become unhappy with his performance.
There have been rumours that Mr Taylor, who is 50, has not been well for some time. Mr Taylor, who was not working at WH Smith yesterday, has made it clear he wants to generally cut down on his workload. Earlier this year he gave up a directorship at the US medical company Antigenics. He remains a part-time adviser to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, where he spends two days a week - the same amount of time he allocates to his role at WH Smith.
Mr Taylor has had one of the most high-profile and eclectic City careers of his generation. A former Financial Times journalist who coined the term "Footsie", he started his business career at the textiles group Courtaulds. He was also chief executive of Barclays bank before joining WH Smith.
The company said it did not have a timescale for Mr Taylor's departure or that of Mr Handover, but industry sources expect the company to find a new chief executive within the next five months. Sources have speculated that Paul Mason, the former chief executive of the cut-price retailer Matalan and previously an executive of the supermarket Asda, is a potential candidate.
Simon Burke, the chairman of the toy store Hamleys, which is being fought over by the Icelandic retailer Baugur and the Daisy & Tom toy store owner Tim Waterstone, is also in the frame.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Sophia Loren: How I rejected Cary Grant and 'pulverised' Marlon Brando with my eyes
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...