Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) confirmed recent press speculation and said that it has initiated a process to search for a new non-executive chairman to succeed current incumbent Mark Williamson following recent investor unrest.
In a brief statement, the FTSE 100-listed tobacco firm said it was making the move “in anticipation of the requirements of the new UK Corporate Governance Code regarding a Chairman's tenure on a Board.”
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The group added that Williamson will remain as chairman until his successor has been found and to ensure an orderly handover of responsibilities.
It said the move was that in accordance with its planned and orderly approach to board succession, adding that a further announcement will be made upon the appointment of a successor.
Last week, at the Lambert & Butler cigarette brand owner’s annual general meeting, investors revealed their anger when almost a fifth of shareholders voted against Williamson’s reappointment as chairman.
Ahead of the shareholder meeting in Bristol, proxy advisers had raised concerns over the long-serving chairman’s reappointment.