Howard quits Leedex in protest

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.

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

the company.



Howard is understood to be unhappy with the way Birkdale was being run

and in particular the threatened resignation of the group’s stockbroker

Butterfield Securities.



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.’



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