Senior names new chief executive

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Senior Engineering's nine-month search for a new chief executive ended yesterday when it appointed Andrew Parrish. Mr Parrish is a director of Williams Holdings where he heads the international coatings and fillers division. He will join Senior next January.

He replaces John Bell, who left the group abruptly in February after a disagreement over strategy. Mr Bell's compensation for loss of office has been agreed but the company yesterday declined to disclose it. Mr Bell was on a two-year contract and last year earned pounds 222,000.

Mr Bell was the third director to leave Senior in little more than a year. These included David Bebb, who stepped down as head of the group's thermal engineering division in 1994. He was paid pounds 800,000 compensation for loss of office which included the purchase of his house. Another former director, Kevin Gamble, was paid pounds 135,000 compensation.

Senior, which makes specialist tubing and power station equipment, said Mr Parrish would be paid an annual salary of pounds 265,000 plus bonus and a share incentive scheme. He will be employed on a two-year contract. Explaining why it had taken so long to fill the post the company said there were a number of medium-sized companies looking for top directors but a shortage of quality applicants. "We wanted to make sure we got the right man," the company said. Mr Parrish, 51, has worked for Williams Holdings since 1991.

Shares in Senior have been rising recently as it has become tipped as a takeover target. They closed 1p higher yesterday at 120p.