David Hellier
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FORMER Telewest chief executive Stephen Davidson has put himself up as a possible executive chairman of Mecom, the European regional newspaper group.

If successful, Davidson would replace Alasdair Locke, the current chairman who is seen by some shareholders to have been too close to former chief executive David Montgomery.

Montgomery recently departed after pressure from a group of dissident shareholders, headed by Aviva Investors and L&G. He left before a replacement chief executive had been found, with some saying that Locke had not tried hard enough to find a successor.

Davidson, who is the senior non-executive director on the board, is believed to have the backing of the rebel shareholders to take overfrom Locke. “There’s a lobby to replace Alasdair with Stephen,” one source told CityA.M. last night.

Davidson would remain executive chair only until a new chief executive was found, at which point he would become the new non-executive chairman.

Locke joined Mecom in June 2006 as a non-executive director and became the Chairman in January 2009. He was executive chairman of Abbot Group Limited and has held senior executive positions within the banking industry.

Former News International executive Mike Anderson has been in renewed talks about the vacant chief executive’s job.