Plastow to call it a day as Inchcape chairman

Sir David Plastow is to retire as chairman of Inchcape after three difficult years at the international services and motor distribution group.

The company, which earlier this year was forced to deny rumours of a boardroom split, said it would be appointing a non-executive chairman from outside the group in due course.

Sir David, 64, former chief executive of Vickers and currently deputy chairman of TSB, was coming up to the end of his contract.

"I feel that it is a good time for me to make way for a new chairman who is in a position to commit his time to Inchcape for several years to come," he said.

He admitted it had been a challenging time for the group, which has seen its shares fall after three profits warnings since the beginning of 1994. The strong Japanese yen has hit the company's car import business, which distributes Toyota and Mazda vehicles, along with a number of other models.

Last week Inchcape, the world's largest car distributor, said it was shedding 2,000 jobs in the Far East from its 48,000-strong workforce. About pounds 3bn of Inchcape's pounds 6bn in sales are with, or through, Japanese motor groups and the yen's strong rise over the past 18 months has taken its toll on profits. The shares have crashed from a peak of 565p to yesterday's close of 330.5p, up 2p.

Although Inchcape can see light at the end of the tunnel after the recent weakening of the Japanese currency, it failed to stem rumours of a rift - hotly denied - between Sir David and Charles Mackay, chief executive. Yesterday, Mr Mackay said: "Sir David has made a major contribution to the direction of Inchcape, helping to guide us through a difficult period in our history."

After leaving Vickers, Sir David was persuaded out of retirement to join Inchcape where, although technically a part-time chairman, he gained a reputation as a hands-on director. He will retire at the end of this year. A spokesman said the new non-executive would be very much a part- time post.

Inchcape shares have picked up recently, though brokers have reduced 1995 profit forecasts by about pounds 18m to pounds 165m to reflect restructuring costs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific