Sunday 20 October 2019

BAT seeking new chairman to succeed Irish businessman Richard Burrows

Richard Burrows is a former governor of Bank of Ireland
Richard Burrows is a former governor of Bank of Ireland
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

British American Tobacco (BAT), the owner of cigarette brands including Dunhill and Lucky Strike, is hunting for a new chairman to succeed its Irish incumbent, Richard Burrows.

Mr Burrows, a former managing director of Irish Distillers, has been chairman of the tobacco giant for almost 10 years. He was the boss at Irish Distillers, whose brands include Jameson, when the group was acquired by French drinks maker Pernod Ricard in 1988. That followed a hostile takeover attempt by Guinness owner Grand Metropolitan, which later became Diageo.

In 2000, Mr Burrows was appointed co-chief executive at the French group.

Mr Burrows (73) was paid a £680,000 salary at BAT last year, while additional benefits brought the total to £796,000 (€923,000).

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

“The chairman will have served as a director for just over nine years at the time of the 2019 AGM (annual general meeting),” noted BAT in its most recent annual report.

It added: “The [nominations] committee has given careful consideration to director transitions to ensure orderly board succession and has prioritised effective succession planning for the executive and the finance director which takes effect during 2019.

“In the forthcoming year, the committee will be focused on succession planning for the chairman and will have close regard to the requirements of the new Corporate Governance Code.”

It’s been reported by Sky News that BAT, which is a FTSE-100 firm, has hired Korn Ferry to help find a successor for Mr Burrows.

Mr Burrows is also a former governor of Bank of Ireland and also sits on the board of Carlsberg.

BAT generated revenue of £25.5bn (€29.5bn) last year and a £9.3bn (€10.7bn) operating profit.

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