Jane Howard, Leedex PR’s group managing director, has resigned in
protest over controversial share dealings within the agency’s parent
company the Birkdale Group.
Howard, who joined Leedex in 1992, will leave on 24 July. She has also
relinquished her seat on the Birkdale board and additional directorships
with immediate effect. In addition to her Leedex role, Howard was a
director of Birkdale’s exhibitions arm TGA Chapmans and design company M
and K Design-In-Store. She had a personal holding of 49,000 shares in
Howard is understood to be unhappy with the way Birkdale was being run
and in particular the threatened resignation of the group’s stockbroker
The broker, which is still working for Birkdale, is believed to have
been concerned about the share dealings of Birkdale chairman Kevin
Morley and non-executive director Michael Kingshott. The pair bought and
sold shares in the company within the space of a week last month at a
combined profit of pounds 17,000. Their activities are being
investigated by the Stock Exchange.
Howard joined Leedex from The Rowland Company, where she was divisional
MD. She closed Leedex’s Birmingham and Cardiff offices and invested in
Manchester, Bristol and London. Birkdale’s finance director and company
secretary Rick Bloomfield said Howard’s role would be filled temporarily
by Leedex directors Sarah King and Sarah Muirhead.
’We are not downhearted by Howard’s decision to leave,’ he said. ’She
has done a lot in developing Leedex but it’s not going to fall apart
without her. It’s time to move forward.’