Headhunters make progress in search for new Mecom boss

David Hellier
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MECOM, the pan-European newspaper group, has scotched suggestions that its chief executive David Montgomery is planning to stay on ahead of his scheduled departure in January next year.

Montgomery was earlier this year persuaded to step down by dissident shareholders but an improving share price, combined with one of the rebels selling its stake, has sparked speculation that the former Mirror Group boss might be planning an extended stay.

However, sources say that the recruitment consultants Russell Reynolds now has a credible list of possible replacements and add that a recent share placing by Invesco went ahead on the understanding that Montgomery would not be staying on.

Mecom’s board, which includes non-executive directors such as former Telewest executive Stephen Davidson, meets tomorrow.

A Mecom spokesman insists the meeting will look at budgets for next year and that the subject of the chief executive’s position will “not be on the agenda”.

Invesco recently sold its 14 per cent shareholding in a placing organised by Numis Securities. Other dissident shareholders Aviva and L&G still have more than 30 per cent of the equity.