Mr Rudd featured in a recent boardroom shake-up at East Midlands Electricity. He took over as non-executive chairman from the ousted John Harris and subsequently announced sweeping job cuts and write-offs of investments.
Apart from membership of the CBI Economic Affairs Committee, Mr Rudd is also chairman of Pendragon, the motor dealer which was hived off from Williams.
He said yesterday that he was attracted to Pilkington because it was an important international manufacturing business and one of the few based in Britain. He will join Pilkington's audit and remuneration committee. Roger Hurn, chairman of Smiths Industries, retired as a non-executive director at the recent annual meeting.
As the East Midlands episode demonstrated, Mr Rudd takes a serious view of his non-executive duties. Although Roger Leverton, chief executive of Pilkington, has been given credit for carrying through improvements in productivity and reshaping the group, some analysts and shareholders have been critical of the rest of the company's management team.
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