Laird chief executive Hill steps down over illness

BRITISH electronics group Laird said yesterday its chief executive Peter Hill would step down immediately due to ill health, but it kept its outlook for the full year.

Chairman Nigel Keen will take on the role of executive chairman while the company searches for a new chief executive.

The company also formed an executive committee reporting to Keen, which it said would assume day-to-day operational responsibilities.

Laird also said it expected to meet its 2011 earnings outlook of 16p per share, which was announced in July.

The firm employs some 9,000 people in operations in North America, Europe and across Asia. It is headquartered in London.

Hill, who had been chief executive since 2002, previously worked for Invensys and BTR. He also holds a non-executive directorship at Cookson.

The firm said: “Peter has given considerable service to Laird over a number of years and has helped transform the business into what it is today – a technology leader in diverse markets, supporting blue-chip customers worldwide.”

Laird shares rose 6.5 per cent.