Mike Beard has been axed as communications chief for Lucas Varity, the
automotive and aerospace group formed from the pounds 3.2 billion merger
between Lucas Industries and Varity Corporation.
Beard, who joined Lucas as director of communication in June 1995, was
told last week that there would no longer be a role for him within the
‘The merged company will be adopting a different structure and approach
to the management of its communications,’ said Beard. ‘It will be
appointing someone for the changed role they have adopted.’ He is due to
leave at the end of September.
Beard’s is just one of 500 jobs to go as a result of the LucasVarity
deal, including 50 managers. Of the 14-strong executive team led by
current Varity chief executive Victor Rice, six are drawn from Varity.
Sources suggest that Beard’s close association with former Lucas chief
executive George Simpson (now at GEC) left him out of favour with the
A former IPR president, Beard said that he had no immediate plans to
take up a new post elsewhere but would consider jobs at agencies or
within in-house departments. ‘I’ll be having a look round to see what is
available,’ he said.
At Lucas, Beard led an 18-strong communications team. The company’s
defence of the Varity merger recently won praise from Roberto Quarta,
chief executive of engineering group BBA which mounted a hostile bid for
Lucas in June.