ITV appoints Archie Norman as chairman

Wednesday, November 18 2009, 09:28 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

ITV has appointed Asda chief executive Archie Norman as its new chairman to replace the outgoing Michael Grade from January.

When he moves into the new role, Norman will be paid an annual salary of £300,000 and also receive 1.2 million ITV shares, worth 60p each, over the next three years.

In the 1990s, Norman was praised for transforming the fortunes of supermarket chain Asda before selling it on to US retail giant Wal-Mart. Prior to that, he helped establish the Kingfisher group in the 1980s, which now owns B&Q.

"There are few opportunities that would have tempted me back into the public company arena, but ITV is definitely one of them," said Norman.

"It is an irresistible challenge, a great brand, a people business with enormous talent, but facing an imperative for change - the challenge of adapting to compete in a fragmented digital media world."

Welcoming the appointment, Grade said: "I have always been a great admirer of Archie and am delighted to be handing over the reins to him. He inherits a company that is more popular and efficient that it has been for many years and I know he will build on that legacy."

ITV board spokesman Sir James Crosby, chairman of the nomination committee, added: "We are delighted that Archie is to become the next chairman of ITV. He has an outstanding track record in business and we believe that his extensive experience of both business and public life will be of significant benefit to ITV in the years ahead."

Among the first tasks facing Norman in January will be to lead the search for a new ITV chief executive, after the process was started back in April.

Negotiations with leading candidate Tony Ball, the former Sky chief executive, collapsed in September due to reported disparities over pay demands.

ITV's total revenue fell by 11% to £1.3 billion during the first three quarters of 2009. Its broadcasting and online revenues also dropped 12% to £1.08bn in the same period.

However, the firm predicted a 4% year-on-year growth in advertising revenues for December, which would be the first increase posted in 18 months.