Rentokil Initial plc (LON: RTO) today announced that Richard Solomons will succeed John McAdam as Chairman of the Company. Richard Solomons will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 March 2019 and, subject to shareholder approval, will become Chairman at the conclusion of the Company’s AGM on 8 May 2019, when John McAdam will retire from the Company. John has been Chairman of the Company for over 10 years, over which time the share price rose more than 350% and over £4.5bn of shareholder value was created. Richard will also become a member of the Nomination Committee from his initial date of appointment.
Richard is Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc. Until June 2017, Richard was Chief Executive of InterContinental Hotels Group plc, and prior to that was Chief Financial Officer from IHG’s inception as a standalone public company from 2003 to 2011. During his time at IHG Richard also held various finance roles as well as Chief Operating Officer and Interim President of IHG’s Americas region. IHG is a global hospitality business with in excess of 5,000 hotels across almost 100 countries, and a diverse portfolio of brands. Richard first joined Bass plc, later Six Continents plc, the company from which IHG emerged, in June 1992 and held a number of finance roles in that organisation, including Finance Director of Britvic Soft Drinks.
Prior to joining IHG, Richard worked in investment banking for seven years with Hill Samuel Bank, based in New York and London. Until July 2018 he was a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer Group plc. He also sits on the Board of Governors of the University of Manchester, where he studied Economics, before qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1985.
Commenting on the appointment, Richard Burrows, the Company’s Senior Independent Director who led the planned succession process, said: “I am delighted that Richard Solomons has been chosen to succeed John McAdam as Chairman. We ran a rigorous process to determine the best possible candidate to lead the Board through the exciting next phase of Rentokil Initial’s growth. My fellow board members and I are confident that Richard’s personal qualities and deep, relevant experience running major global service-led organisations will be a very strong fit for the challenges and opportunities ahead, working with Andy and the executive team.”
Commenting on the appointment, Andy Ransom, Chief Executive, said “I would like to welcome Richard Solomons to the Board and also to take this opportunity to thank John McAdam for his exemplary leadership of the Board since we joined Rentokil Initial together in 2008. Over the past 10 years, we have made enormous progress in transforming the business from its difficult position in 2008, and positioning it for further success. The support from John and the rest of the Board for the executive team during this period has been exceptional. We can look forward to the future with great optimism, building on the foundations that he helped us lay down.”
Other Board Changes
Richard Burrows, Senior Independent Director of the Company and Chair of the Remuneration Committee, has informed the Company that he does not intend to stand for re-election at the Company’s AGM on 8 May 2019 and will, therefore, retire as a director of the Company from the conclusion of the meeting. By then, Richard will have served on the Board for a period of 11 years. The Company is pleased to announce that John Pettigrew, a Non-Executive Director since January 2018, will succeed Richard as Senior Independent Director. Angela Seymour-Jackson will become Chair of the Remuneration Committee, having served on the committee since her appointment in March 2012.
Commenting on the changes to Board, John McAdam, Chairman of Rentokil Initial, said: “I am very pleased that Richard Solomons has been chosen to succeed me as Chairman, and wish him every success. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to serve on the Board of Rentokil Initial and see the progress in the business that the executive team led by Andy since 2013, and before that by Alan Brown, have delivered for shareholders. I would like to thank Richard Burrows for leading the succession process, and for agreeing to stay on the Board for a few more months to see it through to its conclusion. I’d also like to congratulate John and Angela on their new appointments. I look forward to watching Rentokil Initial go from strength to strength in future.”