Lookers unveils board reshuffle to plan for long-term future

Phil White

Motor dealerships group Lookers has reshuffled its board.

The Altrincham group, which announced it will close 12 more dealerships with the loss of 1,500 jobs earlier this month, said the move is intended to “refresh and strengthen the board for the long-term future of the business, under the leadership of Mark Raban as chief executive”.

On March 10 this year, the group announced a delay to the publication of its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019, due to the identification of potentially fraudulent transactions in one of its operating divisions.

Chairman, Phil White, said today: “The group has faced many significant issues in the recent past, both externally and internally, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“As a board, we have had to take many difficult decisions and it has been critical to be able to draw on the experience of all the members of the board and to have had consistency during this challenging period.

“The board recognises the need to bring in new skills and experience to guide the business through the next phase of its development.

“With our dealerships reopened, we believe now is the time to put in place plans for the future of Lookers. As a result, we have agreed an orderly transition to refresh the board over the coming months.”

He added: “I am extremely grateful to my colleagues on the board for their hugely valuable contribution and commitment. In particular, I would like to thank both Richard Walker and Sally Cabrini, who are leaving the board after next week’s AGM, for their support and contribution to the group over many years.

“I remain committed to resolve the group’s legacy issues, reshape the board and ensure that the group is strategically well positioned to exploit the many opportunities ahead.”

At the request of the board, Phil White will assume the role of executive chairman from July 1, 2020 to oversee this transitional period.

Richard Walker, senior independent director and Sally Cabrini, non-executive-director and chair of the remuneration committee, have confirmed that they will not stand for re-election at the AGM on June 29.

Stuart Counsell, non-executive director and chair of the audit and risk committee has agreed to remain on the board until the completion of the 2019 results and the appointment of his successor.

Tony Bramall, non-executive director, has indicated he will not stand for re-election at the 2021 AGM.

Heather Jackson, non-executive director, will, with effect from July 1, act as senior independent director and become chair of the remuneration committee on completion of the 2019 results.

Vicky Mitchell, non-executive director, will assume the role of chair of Lookers Motor Group Limited, the FCA-regulated entity, with effect from July 1, subject to regulatory approval.

A search is under way for a new non-executive chairman and two new non-executive directors, one of whom will fill the role of chair of the audit and risk committee.