Thursday 12 March 2020 7:59 am

Lookers COO leaves day after 'suspected fraud' warning

Lookers’ chief operating officer has left the business just a month after taking up the role, the car dealership announced today.

Cameron Wade left with immediate effect, the dealer said.

Lookers’ shares plunged yesterday after it revealed it has identified “potentially fraudulent transactions”.

That has delayed the publication of its 2019 results, and prompted the car dealer to hire an external adviser to probe the suspicious transactions in one of its operating division.

The business’s share price sank 18 per cent to just 24p as a result.

Today the company told the stock market: “Cameron Wade, chief operating officer, has resigned from the board and is leaving the company with immediate effect.”

Wade only took over as COO on 5 February, following the exit of predecessor Nigel McMinn after a profit warning last November.

Former CEO Andy Bruce also bowed out after that, with finance boss Mark Raban stepping up to the top job.

Wade joined the car dealership at the end of 2016 as franchise director of its Audi division. 

At the time, Phil White, executive chairman said: “I am delighted to be announcing Mark’s and Cameron’s new leadership roles. They both have significant sector experience which is well suited to both the Group’s immediate priorities and longer term strategic objectives.”

LThe FTSE-listed firm is now not due to announce its results until the second half of April.

“Whilst the initial findings are not material in the context of the group, the board is appointing an external adviser to lead a full investigation into the matter,” Lookers said yesterday.

The company’s latest trading update showed it suffered a 6.6 per cent slump in sales in the fourth quarter of 2019.