Embattled G4S boss Nick Buckles to step down

 

The boss of security giant G4S is to stand down - just months after he came under fire for his company's botched handling of its Olympics Games contract.

Chief executive Nick Buckles, who was paid a total of £1.2 million in 2012, was instrumental in creating the G4S business through the merger of Securicor and the security businesses of Group 4 Falck in 2004.

He is to retire from the company and will be replaced on June 1 by Ashley Almanza, who has held senior roles at oil and gas group BG Group.

G4S's Olympics failure saw Mr Buckles hauled before MPs, during which he admitted it was a "humiliating shambles for the company".

Extra military personnel had to be called in to fill the gap left by G4S's failure to supply enough staff for the £284 million contract.

Chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and Ian Horseman Sewell, who was head of global events, carried the can for the fiasco, but Mr Buckles stayed in his post.

However, pressure has intensified on Mr Buckles in recent weeks, after a poor trading update caused shares to slump by more than 13% in one day.

G4S disappointed investors by revealing that weak European markets and pricing pressure on its cash transportation arm in the UK and Ireland had squeezed margins.

Mr Buckles will walk away with his contractual entitlement to a year's salary of £830,000 and a pension allowance of £332,000.

G4S is the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange with more than 620,000 staff worldwide.

Chairman John Connolly said: "Nick Buckles made a massive contribution to the group over a 28-year career.

"As chief executive he led G4S in the creation of significant shareholder value following the merger of Securicor and Group 4 Falck - building the world's leading security company."

Mr Buckles was appointed chief executive of Securicor in 2002 before taking the top role in the newly created G4S business.

Shares rose 3% today following the announcement.

PA

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