Ex CBI president quits carpet firm board after pay bust-up

SIR Bryan Nicholson, former president of the CBI, resigned his directorship at carpet maker Victoria yesterday after he and two other non-executive directors lost the trust of the board by demanding a share of the proceeds of any sale of the firm.

Victoria -- which made the red carpet for last year’s Royal Wedding -- said the departed directors proposed selling the firm and asked for “a substantial share of returns made to shareholders,” specifically 50 per cent of proceeds over £3 a share.

Such an arrangement would be highly unusual, as non-executive directors must exercise impartiality. It would also contravene the UK’s corporate governance code, a set of principles Nicholson himself worked on as chairman of the Financial Reporting Council from 2001 to 2005.

Nicholson’s allies, Alexander Anton and Geoff Wilding, resigned from the board on Wednesday.

“Significant differences have, unfortunately, arisen between the non-executive directors and the rest of the board in relation to the execution of the company’s strategy in circumstances where the non-executive directors expected a significant financial interest in its outcome,” the company said in a statement.

Victoria shares fell 12.5p to 215p yesterday.