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Rolls-Royce: Former Lloyds Banking deputy chairman Anita Frew, 63, is ‘outstanding candidate’

Rolls-Royce appoints first female chair in its 115-year history: Sudoko-loving ex-Lloyds Banking deputy chairman Anita Frew, 63, who lands £490,000-a-year role

  • Anita Frew, 63, has emerged as an ‘outstanding candidate’ after a long search
  • Former Lloyds banking deputy chairman is currently at chemicals group Croda
  • She will join the board at Rolls on July 1 and succeed Sir Ian Davies on October 1 

Engine-maker Rolls Royce has appointed its first female chair in a 115-year history as it handed ‘outstanding candidate’ Anita Frew the £490,000-a-year job.

Ms Frew, 63, is currently chair of chemicals group Croda and used to be deputy chairman at Lloyds bank. 

The mother-of-one will join the board at Rolls on July 1 and succeed incumbent chairman Sir Ian Davis on October 1.

Sir Ian is retiring after almost nine years in the role and Rolls reportedly kicked off the hunt for his replacement last December.

Rolls said Ms Frew, 63, emerged as the ‘outstanding candidate’ after a comprehensive search. She will be taking on a salary of £490,000-a-year for the part-time role, which is 25 per cent more than that paid to Sir Ian last year.

Anita Frew (pictured), 63, is currently chair of chemicals group Croda and used to be deputy chairman at Lloyds bank

She has held board appointments in the UK and globally for the past 20 years, with recent former roles including deputy chairman and senior independent director at Lloyds Banking Group.

Ms Frew also previously worked as a director at advertising group WPP with its founder Sir Martin Sorrell and held roles at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Sir Kevin Smith, senior independent director at Rolls, said: ‘She brings a wealth of experience from two decades of board appointments both in the UK and internationally, and her skills and reputation with investors and government institutions will be invaluable to the group.’

Ms Frew also previously worked as a director at advertising group WPP with its founder Sir Martin Sorrell and held roles at Royal Bank of Scotland. Pictured, the main entrance to the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars headquarters in Chichester, UK

Ms Frew also previously worked as a director at advertising group WPP with its founder Sir Martin Sorrell and held roles at Royal Bank of Scotland. Pictured, the main entrance to the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars headquarters in Chichester, UK

Ms Frew takes over at a tough time for the firm, which has been hit hard by the pandemic as the crisis hammered the global aviation industry.

Rolls crashed to a £4 billion loss in 2020 and chief executive Warren East has embarked on a swingeing cost-cutting programme that will lead to 9,000 jobs being cut worldwide.

Rolls also raised £7.3 billion to survive the pandemic through tapping up shareholders and borrowing from the Bank of England, with plans to raise at least £2 billion from selling off some parts of the business.

Mr East said: ‘I would like to thank Ian for his steadfast leadership, guidance and unwavering support during a crucial period for the group, both strategically and operationally.’

He added: ‘I am delighted to welcome Anita to Rolls-Royce, with her extensive experience and leadership I look forward to working with her.’

Shaky decade for Rolls-Royce: How the engine manufacture faced profit warnings, court settlements for bribery and a global pandemic 

Anita Frew will be taking the helm of the Rolls-Royce board after the engine manufacture’s profits took a tumble because of coronavirus lockdown.

She will be taking over from Sir Ian Davis, who has overseen almost a decade of problems – including firing a chief executive, settling a law suit and a global pandemic. 

Within two years of taking on the role in 2013, Sir Ian engineered the departure of chief executive John Rishton. It came after a run of what became eight profit warnings.

Then, two years later, Rolls agreed a record £671million settlement for bribery and corruption – charges than spanned five continents and two decades.

More profit warnings came when the company was forced to withdraw faulty Trent 1000 engines for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger plane, costing the company £2.4billion.

Rolls then became one of the largest victims of the Covid-19 pandemic because of its effect on the aviation industry.

Shake-ups ordered by chief executive Warren East saw thousands of jobs lost as the company burned through £1billion a quarter in cash reserves.

Last Autumn the company was saved by a £5billion recapitalisation as it faces a future of desperate balance sheet rebuilding. 

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