Reed Elsevier to scrap twin boards

REED ELSEVIER, the Anglo-Dutch publishing group, yesterday unveiled a boardroom shake-up in which its two co-chairmen will make way for a new chief executive recruited from outside the company.

Meanwhile, the company hinted that it could abandon its legal structure, in which holding companies quoted in London and Amsterdam hold roughly equal shares in an operating company.

Reed is to scrap its twin board structure where Reed International and Elsevier, the English and Dutch holding companies, each appoint two executives to Reed Elsevier's board. In its place Reed will create a single board.

Morris Tabaksblat, now chairman and chief executive of the Dutch arm of Unilever, the consumer goods group, will take over as chairman after Reed's annual meeting in April next year.

The board will also have one chief executive. However, in a surprise move Nigel Stapleton and Herman Bruggink, Reed's executive co-chairmen, said they would not be putting their names forward for the job.

Mr Stapleton said the decision to stand down had been a personal one. "If one was to put one's name forward one would have to make a commitment for some years going forward," he said, adding that he had spent 12 years at Reed after 18 years with Unilever. He stressed he had not made plans to leave Reed and would be staying until a new chief executive arrived.

Mr Bruggink is believed to have decided that, with a Dutch chairman, Reed's chief executive should be of a different nationality.

Analysts suggested that Mr Bruggink and Mr Stapleton may have fallen out. "I really got the feeling the personal chemistry wasn't great at all," one said. Another predicted that both would leave Reed once the new structure was in place.

But Mr Stapleton strongly denied that there had been any clash between himself and Mr Bruggink. He added that, after a period of intense corporate activity, Reed needed someone with marketing skills to take the business forward.

"There are unlikely to be any more divestments," he said. "It's more a question of building the company and getting the most out of its portfolio."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy