NEWS: Newly formed Lucas Varity drops Beard

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.

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

new organisation.



‘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

new regime.



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.



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