Pearse for Lucas when Gill retires

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The Independent Online
SIR BRIAN PEARSE, recently retired as chief executive of Midland Bank, is to become non-executive chairman of Lucas Industries, the automotive and aerospace group, when Sir Anthony Gill steps down later this year.

Sir Brian, who joins the Lucas board next month as non- executive director and deputy chairman, was chosen to provide a counterweight to the mainly industrial background of his new colleagues.

His selection follows the appointment as chief executive in November of George Simpson, formerly chairman of Rover Group, who took up his post officially earlier this month.

John Grant, finance director, and Frank Taylor, managing director of Lucas's aerospace activities, have, like Mr Simpson, largely engineering experience in either the automotive or aerospace industries.

It is the first time since 1937 that Lucas has appointed a non-executive director from outside. Mr Simpson is expected to lead the company as chief executive while Sir Brian will manage the boardroom and concentrate on matters of corporate governance.

Sir Brian, who was finance director at Barclays Bank before joining Midland, is expected to take over from Sir Anthony Gill after Lucas's annual meeting in November.

Sir Anthony said the board was delighted to welcome Sir Brian. 'His much respected skills, knowledge and experience will complement and further enhance the strength of our board.'

There had been previous speculation that Richard Giordano, who joined the Lucas board as a non-executive director in March 1993, might succeed Sir Anthony. But this was dismissed last year when Mr Giordano took on the executive chairmanship of British Gas and recently when he became non-executive chairman of BOC Group.

Sir Anthony, 64, became chairman and chief executive of Lucas in 1987 after being appointed a director in 1978.