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Huntsworth CEO to step down

Lord Chadlington to leave PR group
huntsworth-Lord-Chadlington

Conservative peer Lord Chadlington is to step down from his role as CEO of PR group Huntsworth.

The announcement accompanied half-year results showing profits down by 24 per cent to £6.3m in the six months to 30 June. Revenue at Huntsworth fell by eight per cent, to £98.1m, over the same period.

The group, which owns the Red Consultancy and Huntsworth Health, has had a difficult couple of months. A pay revolt in late June saw almost a third of shareholders vote against the group's future remuneration policies. Almost a quarter voted against last year's pay.

Around 30 per cent of investors also abstained from voting for Lord Chadlington's re-election to the board. A profit alert in July, in relation to the then pending half year results, caused shares in the group to fall by 15.2 per cent on a single day.

Lord Chadlington said that it had been his intention for some time to step down, and that the decision was not related to either the poor results – which he blamed on an investment programme – or shareholder discontent. He was extremely proud of Huntsworth and what they had achieved together, he said.

In other changes to the Huntsworth board, John Farrell is to step down as non-executive director. Andy Boland, CFO of AA, has been appointed non-executive director, with a further non-executive director to be appointed in the autumn.

Sally Withey, COO and CFO, is expected to return from sick leave in the autumn. Interim CFO Brian Porritt will remain in place until then.

Lord Chadlington, a former adviser to John Major, has spent decades in PR and founded Shandwick 40 years ago.

14th August 2014

From: Marketing

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