Interserve director Dougie Sutherland is stepping down from the firm's board with immediate effect amid a bitter dispute over a proposed rescue plan for the outsourcing giant.
Sutherland, who was appointed to the board in 2011, was a key player in the firm’s ‘fit for growth’ transformation plan and led Interserve’s developments division.
“I have enjoyed working for Interserve and while I am leaving the company I am pleased to have contributed to the 'fit for growth' programme which I am sure will be a foundation for the future success of the company,” he said.
Sutherland leaves the board immediately, but will hold on to his executive duties until 28 February.
The resignation comes just days after a shareholder revolt plunged the firm back into a fresh crisis as it looks to secure a rescue deal from lenders.
Interserve’s lenders, which include RBS, HSBC and BNP Paris, have agreed to inject £75m into the company in a bid to relieve its debt burden. But the deal, which would see the lenders take new equity, has been rejected by shareholder Coltrane Asset Management.
Coltrane complained its stake had been eroded and called for the ousting of eight board members, including Sutherland.
Interserve chief executive Debbie White said: “I would like to thank Dougie for his contribution to Interserve over the last 12 years and particularly for his support during the last 18 months, during which time he has led a range of initiatives and changes which will contribute to our future success.”
The firm now faces a desperate battle to secure a rescue deal in a bid to avoid administration and save 45,000 jobs in the UK.