PracticeAuditSainsbury’s chief may lead DTI inquiry

Sainsbury's chief may lead DTI inquiry

Trade minister Patricia Hewitt is understood to have asked Sir Peter Davis, chief executive of J. Sainsbury to lead a government review into the role of non-executive directors.

Details of the review into the role of auditors and non-executive directors will be announced this evening in a speech by trade and industry minister Hewitt to business leaders at Mansion House in London.

Hewitt ordered the inquiry into corporate failures on the back of the collapse of US energy giant Enron.

Davis has yet to agree to the post, according to reports in the FT. The review of the role of auditors and non-execs will be a combined effort by the DTI, the Financial Services Authority and the Accountancy Foundation, the new independent regulator of the accountancy profession.

Davis, 60, was appointed chief executive of Sainsbury in March 2000. He was previously group chief executive of Prudential from 1995 to 2000.

He is also chairman of Business in the Community and a non-executive director of UBS. In addition, he has been a non-executive director of Boots, Cadbury Schweppes, Granada, BSkyB and worked on the supervisory board of both Aegon and Elsevier in Holland.

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