No office hours for Sir Colin

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The Independent Online

Another strand is woven into the rich tapestry that is the working week of Sir Colin Marshall. BT yesterday revealed that the erstwhile head of British Airways will pick up pounds 65,000 a year as its new deputy chairman following a boardroom shake-up.

Unfortunately, Sir Colin was not available to comment on his latest new job. He was in Hong Kong for a monthly board meeting of HSBC, which he is paid pounds 19,000 a year to attend, dropping in on his way back from the Qantas annual meeting in Australia.

Since his resignation as chief executive of BA earlier this month (he remains chairman) Sir Colin has moved quickly to repair the as yet undisclosed damage to his pounds 765,000 salary. But there is increasing concern that the urbane businessman may soon have difficulty meeting all his commitments. Certainly, BT is reluctant to pin him down to normal office hours.

"His time commitment is flexible,'' said a BT spokesman. "But he has specific duties and he will chair the remuneration and audit commitees.''

As non-executive chairman of BA, Sir Colin is expected to devote half his working week to the airline and observers say they would be surprised if he was paid much less than pounds 450,000.

Then he must put in one and a half days a week as non-executive chairman of Inchcape, the motor distributor, earning pounds 200,000 a year, with Inchcape sharing his car and chauffeur expenses with BA.

The workload looks even more daunting next spring when Sir Colin takes over as deputy president of the Confederation of British Industry. Although unpaid, this is a time-consuming job. "He will be required to attend council meetings, comittee meetings, eat dinners and make speeches,'' says a CBI spokesman.