Macdonald Steps Down as Head of Menzies and Will Not Be Replaced ; BUSINESS

By Attwood, Karen | The Independent (London, England), March 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Macdonald Steps Down as Head of Menzies and Will Not Be Replaced ; BUSINESS


Attwood, Karen, The Independent (London, England)


The chief executive of John Menzies stepped down yesterday after a shake-up at the news distribution and aviation group.

Patrick Macdonald, who had been at the helm for four years, is not being replaced. Instead, the finance director Paul Doll-man will assume responsibility for the corporate head office, while the company's two units will be run as separate businesses with their own operating boards.

The news came as the company reported a 3 per cent slide in annual pre-tax profits after a difficult year at the distribution division, which has fuelled speculation the group may be broken up.

Analysts welcomed the restructuring and said Mr Macdonald had in effect made himself redundant by strengthening its two divisions to the extent they can be run as standalone operations. Craig Smyth and Ellis Watson, who head the aviation and distribution businesses, will continue in their posts.

In Menzies' aviation division, which provides ground handling, ramp and cargo services, operating profits grew 25 per cent to [pound]16.6m. But at the distribution arm, which transports newspapers and magazines around the country, operating profits fell 23 per cent to [pound]23.

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