Two leave Tiphook under 'fresh approach' by new chairman

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The Independent Online
TIPHOOK, the embattled trailer leasing group with more than pounds 500m of debts, yesterday announced that it is parting company with its finance director, Andrew Chandler, and company secretary, Philip Price.

The company said the planned departures sprang from a 'fresh approach' by the new chairman, Ian Clubb, rather than from any differences over strategy.

'Ian has been in the job for a month now and wanted to make one or two changes, and adopt a fresh approach. He was a finance director at BOC and may have fresh ideas in that area,' a Tiphook spokesman said.

He said the pay-offs the directors would receive would be in 'a different league altogether' to the pounds 6m paid to five departing executives earlier this year. The pay-offs sparked a shareholders' revolt following Tiphook's record pounds 330m loss for last year.

The spokesman said Mr Chandler had been on a one-year pounds 150,000 contract with a 12-month notice period. It is understood the pay-off will be less than half that. Mr Chandler is to leave at the end of November, just over a year after his appointment last summer and four years after joining the company. The recruitment of a new finance director was 'already under way', the company said.

Philip Price stepped in as caretaker company secretary when Nick Smith, the previous incumbent, left in the spring. Mr Price is on a six-month contract and is to leave at the end of the month to 'pursue his career outside the group', the company said.

The spokesman denied that differences over company strategy or concern over trading had led to the departures, both of which he described as 'amicable'.

He continued: 'The company had reached a natural break-point for the parting of ways. There are only a limited number of places in the year where it is prudent to make a change of this sort, with sensitivity to the timing of it.'

He said the board had been 'mindful' of complaints at the annual meeting about the allegedly excessive levels of remuneration granted to board members.

At the same meeting the company changed its name to Central Transport Rental Group.