Serco chief hands in his resignation

Chris Hyman, the CEO of scandal-ridden outsourcing firm Serco, said today he is stepping down.

by Emma Haslett

Chris Hyman, the chief executive of troubled outsourcing firm Serco, has handed in his resignation, saying it’s ‘time for me to step back’.

The company is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over claims the company overcharged the government by ‘tens of millions of pounds’ for electronic tagging of criminals.

Hyman, who has been chief executive for 11 years, will be temporarily replaced by Ed Casey, the boss of its Americas division.

The firm also announced that it is planning a massive shake-up, separating its UK and European division into two – one which will focus on the UK central government, and another for the ‘wider public sector’.

It will also recruit three extra non-exec directors (because more directors equals more a straightforward operation?) and establish something called a Board Committee for Corporate Responsibility, appointing formal ethics committee and ethics officers for each of its divisions.

There are those who would argue that this is rather bolting the stable door months and months and months after the horse has bolted – by now, the horse is frolicking on the Australian plains – but the government is clearly more forgiving.

‘While it is early days in their programme of renewal, this is a positive move by Serco and a step forward,’ a statement said today.  

Shareholders also seem placated: shares were up 2.8% this morning. Let’s hope the SFO is as easily mollified…

- Read MT’s 2007 profile of Hyman

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