Shock as Sherlock bids Bass farewell

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The Independent Online
PETER Sherlock, one of the fast rising stars on Bass's board, has resigned from the brewing and leisure group, leaving the company with a hole in its management structure.

The reason given for Mr Sherlock's departure was that he was 'leaving to pursue other business interests abroad'. A Bass spokesman could not clarify this statement or give any idea of what these business interests were.

He leaves at the end of this month and no decision has yet been made on his replacement.

Mr Sherlock, 47, moved from the postion of head of Bass Leisure to be president of the group's Holiday Inns division this year.

Holiday Inns has brought Bass some headaches since its purchase two years ago and was largely restructured last year.

Mr Sherlock was one of three Bass board directors working at Holiday Inns. However, of the other two, Hamish Swann, Holiday Inns' deputy chariman, is close to Bass's mandatory retirement age of 60 and Bryan Langton, the chairman of Holiday Inns, is 56. In addition another of the group's directors, pub retailing chief Charles Darby, is 58, and is due to retire soon.

Close followers of Bass said that Mr Sherlock, who successfully negotiated the purchase of Granada's bingo operation last year, was seen as one of the Young Turks who were expected to revitalise the brewer and help it adapt to the post-Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry era.

'Peter Sherlock's departure is a shock,' said a leading leisure analyst. 'It leaves a hole in the board and I think they will have to go outside the company to fill it.'