Sir John Peace to step down as Experian chair

SIR John Peace, one of the FTSE 100’s most in-demand executives, yesterday announced he would step down from his role as chairman of credit check business Experian by July 2014.

Peace currently holds the same role at banking giant Standard Chartered and fashion brand Burberry, meaning he runs the board at three FTSE 100 companies.

The move comes just five weeks after Peace was forced to issue a humiliating apology after telling the media that Standard Chartered’s breaches of US trade sanctions were merely “clerical errors”.

Although Experian insisted yesterday’s move was unconnected to the apology, investors in the bank were understood to be unhappy that Peace was juggling so many roles.

An Experian spokesman said the company would now have over a year to ensure an orderly transition. They pointed out that the decision was not unexpected, given Peace previously announced his intention to quit as chairman back in 2009 but no suitable replacement could be found.

Standard Chartered said they had “always been very happy” with Peace’s commitment to his three-day-a-week role at the bank and they would be unaffected by yesterday’s decision.

Burberry declined to comment.

Nottingham-based Peace spent most of his career at retail group GUS where he co-founded the division that would later became Experian.

After becoming group chief executive in 2000 he decided to maximise shareholder value by splitting GUS into three separate listed businesses: Argos owner Home Retail Group, Burberry, and Experian.