No replacement in sight for Mecom as Montgomery quits

 
David Hellier
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EUROPEAN newspaper group Mecom has said that its chief executive will leave by the end of the month, but it confessed yesterday that it’s no nearer to finding a replacement for him.

The group is being forced by its two leading shareholders to part company with chief executive David Montgomery but yesterday a source close to the process said it was “not really close” to appointing a successor.

Montgomery, who promised to leave his post by the end of the month last year, has been trying in vain to cling on.

Yesterday, as the group reported a rise in profit of 28 per cent, Montgomery said: “Not only has Mecom weathered the worst advertising recession in history but it has significantly out-delivered on all its financial commitments to shareholders set at the time of the rights issue in mid 2009.

“I am very proud of the dedication and creativity of the staff who have supported Mecom in recent years.”

Under Montgomery, Mecom shares had plunged from a peak of 6,784p in July 2007 to a low of 66p by November 2008, as the company piled on debt to consolidate European assets, only to have to dispose of some again when the recession hit. It has plans to resume dividend payments.