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Marconi chief falls on own axe

But £4m severance package eases the pain

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Mike Donovan, chief operating officer of Marconi since 2001, is looking for opportunites outside the company this morning. Fortunately, he is taking a £4m severance package with him to help salve the pain.

Donovan has overseen the restructuring of Marconi and the loss of 20, 000 jobs. He has been running the US businesses for the last three years, and they've mostly been sold off as part of the restructuring leaving him without a job.

John Devaney, Chairman of Marconi Corporation plc, said : "Mike has had a very significant role in the turnaround of Marconi, playing a key role in the operational restructuring of the Group. We, and Mike, have recognised for some time that once the operational restructuring was largely complete, and the last of our non-core businesses had been disposed of, Mike's role would need to change. Unfortunately it has not been possible for us to find an appropriate role for him."

Donovan was paid approxiamately £490, 000 a year along with share options. Unusually the share options were granted without a strike price - effectively free. He has cashed in £3m already and another £2m are due this month and the final tranche can be cashed in next August. Chairman John Devaney said a pay scheme "that was in line with usual practice" would be introduced soon, according to the Guardian newspaper which has more details here .

Donovan leaves at the end of December but has resigned from the board of directors with immediate effect. ®

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