Rentokil chief falls on his sword after City Link fiasco

Chief executive Alan Brown is to step down after five years at the helm, after the company made a huge loss on courier company City Link.

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 01 Aug 2013
Having been parachuted in to exterminate Rentokil’s problems back in 2008, chief executive Alan Brown said today he will step down in October, to be replaced by fellow turnaround specialist Andy Ransom, after the company made a £400m loss on courier company City Link.
Brown, Ransom and chairman John McAdam were all plucked from Dulux paint maker ICI back in 2008 to rescue the pest control conglomerate.
Brown’s main task was to sort out City Link, which Rentokil acquired in 2007 - but following £400m in write-offs and losses, the courier service was sold off to Better Capital in April for £1. Ouch.
‘In 2008 we faced huge challenges,’ McAdam said. ‘Alan has navigated us through many of them and today we are in a much stronger position to continue our international growth strategy.’
Alas, not strong enough - although Brown said he will remain available to support Ransom until January next year.
‘I thank the board, our shareholders and above all my colleagues for the great support they have offered me over the last five years,’ said a magnanimous Brown.

‘I am delighted the board has chosen Andy as my successor and I wish him every good fortune.’
To add insult to injury, Brown’s failure to turn the company around has hit him and his two ICI peers where it hurts: when they joined Rentokil, their packages stipulated if shares rose to 280p by spring this year, they would receive more than £90m between them. They didn’t: shares were valued at 97.95p as of this morning. That must be a hard pellet to swallow...

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