Huntsworth changes chairman amid reported "tensions" with chief executive

Citigate and Red owner Huntsworth is installing a City heavyweight as chairman as two board members depart amid claims of "tensions" with chief executive Lord Chadlington.

Lord Chadlington: defended his contract this morning
Lord Chadlington: defended his contract this morning

Lord Myners, the former City minister, has been appointed as an independent non-executive director today and will take over as chairman subject to being reappointed as a director at the company’s forthcoming AGM.

Huntsworth also confirmed that current chairman Richard Sharp was not seeking re-election after six years and that senior independent director Joe MacHale has resigned after nearly two years.

According to Sky News business editor Mark Kleinman, one of the triggers for the departure of Sharp and MacHale was growing tension between them and Chadlington.

Kleinman observed: "Lord Chadlington is unusual among the bosses of listed companies for a guaranteed contractual entitlement to an annual pay rise and bonus, with some board directors said to be unhappy about his pay."

Chadlington defended his contract this morning, telling PRWeek: "My contract is written by the remuneration committee of Huntsworth and over 94 per cent of shareholders who voted supported it last year."

He said he could not say why McHale resigned but that Sharp had been chairman "for a good stint".

Myners, who is seen as a supporter of strong corporate governance, was appointed after a search led by independent directors John Farrell and Terence M Graunke using headhunting firm Odgers.

Chadlington was paid a total of £1.02m in 2012, according to Huntsworth’s most recently published annual report. This consisted of a base salary of £628,000, a bonus of £313,000 and benefits of £80,000.

Huntsworth is due to announce its annual results tomorrow morning.

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