Invensys FD to stay on despite turmoil

The retention of O’Donovan was announced on Tuesday – the same day the company issued its third profit warning – by Invensys chairman Lord Marshall. He retention was confirmed at the company’s agm yesterday.

Lord Marshall said: ‘I am also very pleased that Kathleen O’Donovan – who had indicated to me that she wished to stand down after post-merger work had been completed – has accepted the request of the Board and Rick Haythornthwaite to stay with the group and work with Rick.’

A spokesperson for the company could not say how long O’Donovan would remain as FD, but a report in today’s FT quoted the company as saying she would stay on for the ‘foreseeable future’, and denied that the decision was of a temporary nature.

The market responded positively to the news that O’Donovan was to remain. Invensys shares were last up 3% to 78.5p, after sliding 15% on Tuesday following the third profit warning of the year. The company cautioned that profits would fall short of analysts’ expectations by around 30% and announced it would slash 2,500 jobs taking global staff cuts to 6,000.

The company blamed its performance on the ‘worst recession in US industrial production since the 1970s’ and said Europe was ‘weakening rapidly’.

It added: ‘The first three months have in fact proved even tougher than expected, with trading conditions continuing to deteriorate. The dramatic decline in global telecoms and the spreading economic slowdown is impacting all our businesses.

‘As a result and having just completed our first quarter reviews with our divisions, we have revised our internal forecasts for the first half.’

Also at the agm Rich Haythornthwaite, former chief executive of cement company Blue Circle, was confirmed as the next CEO at Invensys following Allen Yurko’s decision to step down from the role.

Lord Marshall said: ‘Allen Yurko will continue as chief executive through September, thus completing the first half of the group’s fiscal year before handing over to Rick Haythornthwaite.’

Invensys was formed in November 1998 from the merger of UK industrial groups BTR and Siebe.


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