Brunswick in at Rentokil after boardroom coup

The board of pest control firm Rentokil Initial has drafted in Brunswick to handle media fallout from last week’s ousting of non-executive chairman Sir Clive Thomson and the company’s deteriorating profits.

Brunswick was hired two weeks ago as the board – led by chief executive James Wilde and replacement chairman Brian McGowan – planned for Thomson’s exit.

The move jeopardises a 12-year relationship with Catullus Consulting, whose founder Alex Mackey has advised Thomson for more than a decade. Mackey declined to comment.

Brunswick partner John Sunnucks is heading the Rentokil project, reporting to group director of corporate affairs Charles Grimaldi.

Rentokil announced last week that Thomson had agreed to step down as chairman and non-executive director ahead of the company’s trading statement for the four months to April.

Figures for the first quarter showed a six per cent fall in pre-tax profits. The company said full-year profits for 2004 would not be less than £350m, but the market had expected around £408m.

Thomson’s ejection from Rentokil’s board was put down to differences in strategy. McGowan was deputy chairman.

Rentokil said the decline in profits had been caused in part by the termination of major contracts in its Security Guardian division and a fall in the turnover of its UK hygiene division.

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