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Rolls-Royce opens door for appointment of first foreign boss

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has cleared the way for it to hire a foreign boss for the first time in its 100-year history.

Shareholders voted to change the articles of association at its annual meeting to allow either the company's chairman or its chief executive to come from the US or from the European Union.

Company chairman Sir Simon Robertson could step down next year, according to press reports.

The amendment, supported by 97% of votes, represents a relaxation in the so-called golden share agreement with the Government, which was designed to stop Rolls falling under foreign control because it supplies the armed forces.

A company spokesman said: "We are now a global company and this is about accessing a wider pool of talent."

Rolls-Royce also said it expects to double its revenues over the next 10 years as its global markets start to recover.

The company said it was trading in line with expectations but said some markets remained volatile.

Elsewhere, Rolls said it is still pursuing a takeover of German diesel-engine maker Tognum which recently rebuffed a £3.2bn offer.

Rolls and Mercedes Benz owner Daimler launched a €24-a-share bid (£21) for Tognum last month through their joint venture. But Tognum said the price was not appropriate.