As it battles to regain market confidence, reinvigorating its share price following a recent profit warning, Pace has appointed former Asda CEO and Non-executive Chairman of the Royal Mail Allan Leighton as its new chairman.
Shares in the pay-TV and broadband services provider fell after under fire CEO revealed the profit warning on 10 May 2011, citing inventory problems during higher than expected cash outflow as the principle brake on earnings. Industry analysts pointed out that rival operators did not suffer the same issue during the period which Pace suffered stock shortages.
Gaydon promised that the company would make the necessary changes required to get back on track and the first part of this strategy is the proposed appointment of Leighton as its new Non-executive Chairman. Tellingly, the new exec will begin his role with a strategic review of the Pace business.
As part of the terms on which he is to be appointed, Leighton has agreed to purchase £200,000 of Pace shares. Pace has agreed to make a share award to match this investment on a two for one basis, vesting after three years. An additional award over 600,000 shares has been made and will vest dependent upon share price performance over a four year period: a quarter of this award will vest at 145p with full vesting at 190p. Both awards are subject to the shares being retained until at least the fifth anniversary of appointment.
Commenting on his appointment and the challenges ahead, Leighton said: Allan Leighton commented, “I've watched the Pace business develop with both its ups and bumps for 15 years. I've always felt there is a ‘great technology company’ in there. My task now with the Management and the Board is to deliver that ‘great technology company’ and the value that goes with it without the bumps. This process will start with a Strategic Review of the Company.”
Pace also announced the retirement of Mike McTighe, who will be stepping down after ten years as Non-executive Director including five as Chairman.