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Pendragon non-executive director Richard Laxer steps down

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Pendragon will broaden its search for new members of its senior leadership team after non-executive director Richard Laxer stepped down after 10 months on the car retail group’s board.

Laxer, who was appointed to the Pendragon board in November last year, will cease to be a non-executive director and senior independent director with effect from December 31, adding another required recruitment to a list already comprised of chief executive and a new executive chairman at the AM100’s former number one retail group.

In a statement issued via the London Stock Exchange today (September 26), Pendragon said that Laxer had confirmed to its board that he “remains fully committed to the company”, adding that he will “continue to fulfil his roles of senior independent director and audit committee chairman for the remainder of the year”. 

Pendragon said that it will now commence the process for recruitment of an additional non-executive director with relevant experience to join the board in January 2020.

Incoming interim executive chairman Bill Berman, who is stepping into his new role following the announcement in Pendragon’s H1 financial results last week that non-executive chairman Chris Chambers will step down from the Board on October 1, said: "The board would like to thank Richard Laxer for his significant contribution during his tenure.

“We look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of his time with us and wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

Pendragon told AM last week that it would not provide “ongoing commentary” about its progress in appointing a new chief executive to replace Mark Herbert, who left his role in June after just three months in-post.

Whoever joins Pendragon’s leadership team in the coming months will be at the heart of an effort to transform the group’s ailing fortunes.

In its H1 results statement last week the group said that plans to close 22 of its Car Store used car supermarkets and one vehicle preparation centre after detailing a £32.2m underlying pre-tax loss during the period to June 30, 2019.

Shares in the group fell to 9.08p after it reported the “significant losses”.

Earlier this month AM reported the allegations of a source who claimed that Pendragon’s plan to curb its ailing financial performance could result in 1,300 job losses. The group would not comment.

However, in its results statement, the group said: “The board initiated a detailed strategic and market review of the Car Store business and the challenges it has faced.

“This review confirmed that there continues to be a significant and attractive market opportunity for Car Store, however a number of short-term actions are required to improve performance, including a number of site closures.”



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