Rebecca's Exit Shakes Legg

By Feltham, Cliff | Daily Mail (London), August 3, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Rebecca's Exit Shakes Legg


Feltham, Cliff, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: CLIFF FELTHAM

SHE was hailed as one of the City's brightest talents. But this week Rebecca Thomas, speaking from her holiday home in France, rejected speculation surrounding her surprise departure from pound sterling110bn US investment giant Legg Mason.

Legg's statement said that by 'mutual agreement' Thomas, 39, had quit as pound sterling150,000a-year chief executive of its UK arm Legg Mason Investors. Last Christmas she received a bonus believed to be pound sterling1m.

But there are reports of poor morale, disquiet over investment performance and criticism of a pound sterling6m sponsorship of the Jordan Formula One team.

A company source said: 'Morale is atrocious. Some people were made redundant while they were spending millions on Formula One.

All we got for our money was a logo on a chinstrap.' Thomas was the youngest female chief executive of a UK company when she took over at Johnson Fry, built up by the grandson of famed England cricketer CB Fry.

In 1999, it was taken over by Legg Mason for pound sterling41m.

Thomas stayed on as UK head. Last year, asked where she wanted to be in five years, she said: 'Boringly, I hope I will still be here.' But now she is in France at one of the 'tens of properties' she owns. She insists her departure was amicable.

'They knew for some time I wanted to go,' she said.

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