Firm thinking for business board appointments

MAYBE I’VE TURNED INTO a grumpy, cynical, old hack. Perhaps, previously, I was just grumpy, cynical and not-so-old.

Whatever the case may be, I want to comment on the latest round of non-executive appointments at easyJet.

How can Adele Anderson be a ‘neutral’ appointment onto easyJet’s board? Both her and Sir Mike Rake (pictured) served together at KPMG, where he was UK senior partner and then International chief, while Anderson served as a board member and CFO.

It goes without saying that the benefit of having a senior accountant (Sir Mike in this instance) as chairman goes beyond just strong governance and risk management. They’ll be able to attract and pinpoint strong finance pros to help out.

But as I noted a few months’ back with ex-Deloitte Nick Sanderson’s appointment to FD at Great Portland Estates – where former Deloitte chairman Martin Scicluna chairs – such appointments can feel a bit ‘close’.

Perhaps, as non-execs, Sir Mike and Adele are classified as both sitting on the ‘same side of the table’ anyway.

Maybe I’m being more naïve than cynical. Maybe she’s the best choice, and such ‘closeness’ is inevitable with a relatively small pool of board talent available. Maybe it’s a great thing that the much-feted Anderson has taken the role – moving from practice to business she has effectively expanded the pool, after all.


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