Rolls-Royce gets new chief

BRITISH engine maker, Rolls-Royce has confirmed that the Royal Ahold boss is to become new chief executive as Sir John Rose prepares to retire.

John Rishton, who is currently chief executive at the Dutch supermarket group, will take up the post next March when Rose stands down. Rose will leave Rolls-Royce after 26 years, of which he served 14 years as the group’s chief executive.

Rishton, who spent four years as chief financial officer at British Airways (BA), will be faced with the tough challenge of driving Rolls-Royce forward amid expected cuts to the defence budget and ongoing problems with its engines.

“John [Rishton] has a proven track record as a chief executive of a global company and has a background in aerospace and manufacturing,” said chairman Simon Robertson.

Rishton already holds a spot as a non-executive director on Rolls-Royce’s board and is chair of the group’s audit committee.

He joined Ahold in 2006 from BA as executive vice-president and was later promoted into the chief executive position.

Rishton is to be replaced by Ahold’s chief operating officer, Dick Boer who will take over the chief executive role once Rishton leaves next year.

Meanwhile, Ian Strachan will takeover Rishton’s job as audit chair on an interim basis until Rolls-Royce finds a replacement.

DESPITE a five-year posting in the Dutch supermarket industry, John Rishton is no stranger to the auto and aviation sectors having spent the majority of his career at both Ford Europe and British Airways (BA).

The newly appointed Rolls-Royce chief executive began his career at Ford in 1979 and held a number of senior positions during his 15-year tenure at the carmaker.

Rishton joined BA in 1994 and moving up the ranks, eventually took over the role of chief financial officer. He retained that post for four years until his late 2005 departure for Amsterdam based, Royal Ahold.

Rishton officially joined Ahold on 1 January 2006 as the group’s executive vice-president and chief financial officer but was promoted a year later to president and chief executive.

That same year Rishton also took up a non-executive director role on Rolls-Royce’s board.

In April Rishton was appointed to a second term at the top of Ahold, but tendered his resignation yesterday to return back to his transport roots.