Stobart Group unveils new appointments after bitter boardroom row

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Stobart Group unveils new appointments after bitter boardroom row

The group is refreshing its leadership follow a boardroom spat that saw an attempt to oust chairman Iain Ferguson.


Stobart , which owns Southend Airport, has announced a raft of senior appointments as it revamps its leadership following a furious boardroom spat (Chris Radburn/PA)
Stobart , which owns Southend Airport, has announced a raft of senior appointments as it revamps its leadership following a furious boardroom spat (Chris Radburn/PA)

Support services and infrastructure group Stobart has announced a raft of board appointments as it revamps its leadership following a furious boardroom spat.

The group, which owns Southend Airport, has promoted group commercial director Nick Dilworth to executive director and chief operating officer from September 1, while Michael Williamson is appointed interim chief financial officer from September 10.

The former finance chief Richard Laycock left the role hours ahead of a tumultuous annual shareholder meeting last month, although he remains with the business.

We have moved quickly to strengthen the board, and are pleased to have been able to appoint such experienced directors
Iain Ferguson, chairman of Stobart Group

Stobart also said Ginny Pulbrook, a co-founder of Citigate Dewe Rogerson and partner at Capital Market Communications, will become a non-executive director from October 1.

The firm had previously been criticised for a lack of diversity on its board, having been named earlier this year as one of a handful of companies in the FTSE 350 without a woman on its board.

Shares in the firm were trading 2% higher after the new appointments were announced.

They follow a boardroom row when director and former chief executive Andrew Tinkler attempted to boot out chairman Iain Ferguson.

Mr Tinkler was trying to install retail boss Philip Day as chairman in a bid
backed by a fund controlled by star investor Neil Woodfood and Allan Jenkinson, a former Stobart director.

Mr Ferguson narrowly survived the shareholder vote on his re-election at the the company’s contentious annual general meeting (AGM).

But Mr Ferguson said he would step down from the board by March next
year.

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It said it also plans to appoint a new senior independent director and at least one more non-executive director ahead of the company’s 2019 AGM.

On announcing the latest appointments, Stobart said they will “provide a stable framework of strong corporate governance focused on protecting the interests of all shareholders”.

Mr Ferguson added: “We have moved quickly to strengthen the board, and are pleased to have been able to appoint such experienced directors.”

The firm, which has also launched an investigation into alleged bullying, has appointed Russell Reynolds Associates to lead a search for the new non-executive chairman and further directors.

It revealed last month that Alice Mayhew, an employment barrister at Devereux Chambers, had been appointed to spearhead an investigation into concerns raised by employees over alleged bullying and the company’s whistleblowing procedures.

Press Association

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