Shock exit of Invensys boss hurts shares

Steve Dinneen
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INVENSYS’ shares tanked yesterday after it announced the shock departure of its chief executive Ulf Henriksson.

The engineering company sank to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard amid speculation Henriksson had finally been axed for appearing to fuel speculation last November that Invensys was a possible target for China Southern Rail.

The indiscretion caused an almighty row and the board was forced to rush out a statement denying it was involved in any discussions.

Sources close to the company told City A.M. Henriksson had no say in his departure, with the decision being solely down to the board.

They suggested the decision was based on the belief the former boss had taken Invensys as far as he could. When he took control of the embattled firm in July 2005 its share price was 124p. The price before his departure was 357p.

However, its shares dropped 4.5 per cent yesterday to 341.2p.

Henriksson has been replaced by former chief financial officer Wayne Edmunds.

Invensys chairman Sir Nigel Rudd said: “I am delighted Wayne has agreed to take on the role of chief executive. I would like to thank Ulf for his hard work and achievements. We wish him well for the future.”

The firm says it expects its results to be broadly in line with forecasts.