Weir’s share price went up over 2.5 per cent on the speculation, which was denied by the company. General Electric declined to comment.
Jacobi’s new role takes effect from the start of next year. She has experience at senior levels in the energy, financial services and public sectors in both the UK and the US, having worked at Royal Dutch Shell, BP America, Lehman Brothers and HSBC.
She was appointed by Cameron to the advisory committee on business appointments in June 2012 and was formerly a British Civil Service Commissioner. Prior to that, she was hired as Assistant US secretary of Commerce by President George Bush senior and had served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
“As a highly experienced leader [Jacobi] brings valuable insight from working in private enterprise and public life on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Weir Group. “I am sure she will make a substantial contribution to the future work of the board.” Weir Group’s shares closed 2.9 per cent higher at £21.32.