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Former H&W boss steps down from mining giant

By Ravender Sembhy

Former Harland and Wolff boss Sir John Parker is to step down as chairman of mining giant Anglo American after eight years in the role.

The company said it will begin the process of searching for a replacement, with Sir John, who is from Co Down, remaining in place until the new appointment is effective.

Sir John, who is also a board member of aerospace giant Airbus, said: "Having seen Anglo American emerge in a strong position from the mining industry downturn, with its sharp falls in commodity prices between 2014 and 2016, I believe that the time is now right for the board to seek my successor during the course of 2017.

"The company, with its much-restored balance sheet and a world-class board and management team, led by our chief executive Mark Cutifani, is well placed for the future."

Sir John will step down this year, Anglo said.

He recently led a review which concluded that large listed companies should include at least one person of colour by 2021, after finding "disproportionately" low levels of diversity across UK boardrooms.

And last year Sir John pledged to take a "fresh look" at Anglo's pay policy and to put it to a vote at the 2017 AGM after more than 41% of the mining giant's shareholders opposed Mr Cutifani's £3.4m pay package for 2015.

Sir John joined Harland and Wolff as an apprentice aged 16 and later served as its chairman and CEO, leading the yard's absorption into the private sector.

The industrialist has chaired five FTSE 100 companies, including National Grid.

He has also chaired the Court of the Bank of England and is a former president of the Royal Academy of Engineers.

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