Stewart in the hunt for starring role at ITV

Experts believe former EMI finance director Martin Stewart is a frontrunner
in the search for a new finance director of ITV, following a boardroom shake-up.

Stewart’s experience in media and entertainment mean he is well-placed to
take on the role. Neil Chugani, previously deputy CFO at BSkyB, would have been
another favourite had he not joined BBC Worldwide recently.

Although Stewart’s is the most high profile name being bandied about by
recruitment firms, experts believe that race for the FD role is set to be
fiercely competitive.

‘This job will be open to CFOs and divisional officers of FTSE 100 companies,
group FDs in the FTSE 250 and finance bosses in private equity-led companies in
related fields. Leading FDs in the public sector must also be considered,’ a
leading City headhunter said.

The headhunter added that the eventual winner of the job would depend on
specific criteria.

‘It depends mainly if the company is looking for plc experience, and the
level of salary they are prepared to offer.’

Stewart left EMI under a cloud after private equity heavyweight Terra Firma
snapped up the ailing company last year.

He joined the music publisher from BSkyB in 2005, after losing out on the CEO
job at the satellite broadcaster to James Murdoch.

After Terra Firma came in for EMI, the City was surprised when Stewart missed
out on a windfall payoff.

The private equity players, led by Guy Hands, said Stewart would not be in
line for a payout (thought to be in the region of £1m) because he had resigned.
In contrast, Terra Firma paid out £2.8m to EMI’s chief executive Eric Nicoli
because he was asked to leave as Hands went about aligning the management.

ITV announced last week that it would be launching its search for an FD after
the boardroom shake-up.

The vacancy came up after John Cresswell’s responsibilities as chief
operating officer and FD were separated as part of the changes.

The company said Cresswell, who will stay on as COO, will lead the
recruitment process for a new finance head.

Related reading