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UK News Desk

Defence contractor Babcock International appoints first female chairman

Defence contractor Babcock International appoints first female chairman

Defence contractor Babcock International has appointed its first female chairman.

Ruth Cairnie, 65, will take over when Mike Turner leaves after its AGM in July.

She has already joined the board of Babcock, which works on Britain’s fleet of submarines.

All change: Ruth Cairnie will take over when Mike Turner leaves after its AGM in July

All change: Ruth Cairnie will take over when Mike Turner leaves after its AGM in July

Cairnie, a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, is a senior independent director of Associated British Foods, and a non-executive director at Rolls-Royce and energy firm Contour Global.

Turner, 70, has been Babcock chairman for 11 years. He said: ‘She is a strategic thinker and strong leader, and we look forward to her bringing her in-depth experience, gained from a broad range of executive and non-executive roles at leading industrial companies.’

Cairnie’s appointment is bound to raise questions about a successor to chief executive Archie Bethel, 66, who is understood to be looking to leave within the next couple of years.

Her appointment comes after a turbulent year. Babcock’s share price was hit in October when a report published by a body calling itself ‘The Boatman Capital Research’ criticised its management and its relationship with the Ministry of Defence.

Shares rose 1.8 per cent, or 8.8p, to 512.4p yesterday but are still more than 20 per cent down on the 651p they were trading at this time last year.

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Markets | Mail Online

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