Marconi boardroom genocide on cards

Institutional investors want blood

A boardroom purge is coming to Marconi as institutional investors make their anger known, claims The Guardian.

Apparently the company's chairman Sir Roger Hurn told its big investors in a private meeting that it had sped up its search for a new chief executive and a new chairman. Sir Roger should have retired last month, leaving the chairman post free for current chief exec Lord Simpson and the chief exec post free for John Mayo, former deputy chief exec.

However following the disastrously handled profit warning at the start of last month - which saw Marconi's share price halve in value overnight - John Mayo has been kicked out, Sir Roger has stayed on and shareholders have been promised that Lord Simpson will leave as soon as practicable.

The company's big investors have kept relatively quiet over their fury, allowing the recent agm to go off without major mishap. However, with Marconi threatening to be kicked out of the FTSE 100 next month, the fall from grace of one of Britain's flagship companies has made the board's positions untenable.

Sir Roger said that ideally he wanted to name a new chairman first so that the appointee can select a replacement for Lord Simpson, however it said it was going to work the other way around. Lord Simpson has presided over a share price fall from £12.50 last September to its lowest in living memory today - just 66.75p. It has fallen seven per cent since this morning.

Marconi's share price for the last year is given below (taken from Etrade.co.uk). ®

Marconi's share price over the last year

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