Veteran industrialist Turner resurfaces in Gulf Marine role | Business News
One of Britain’s most senior industrialists will this week take on his first boardroom role since becoming the latest victim of a corporate governance crackdown on long-serving chairmen.
Sky News has learnt that Mike Turner will be named as the senior independent director of Gulf Marine Services (GMS), a London-listed operator of support vessels serving the deepwater oil and gas industry.
Mr Turner’s appointment will add decades of industrial experience to a company which has been hit by a two-thirds slump in its value during the last 12 months.
His arrival will come as he prepares to step down as chairman of Babcock International, the defence contractor, after a decade on its board.
The former BAE Systems chief, who has also just left the board of Barclays, has had an eventful couple of years in corporate boardrooms.
He was also chairman of GKN, the aerospace and automotive engineering group which was taken over in an £8bn hostile deal by Melrose Industries last year.
Mr Turner, an outspoken but respected figure who has been critical of reforms heralding the curtailment of listed company chairs’ independence after nine years, is expected to join GMS’s board soon after this month’s annual meeting.
In an interview with The Sunday Times this month, he said he was “really upset” about leaving Babcock and criticised aspects of the Government-backed push for greater diversity in boardrooms.
At Babcock, the shares were hurt last year by the emergence of a report by Boatman Capital, a mysterious firm which refuses to reveal the identity of its executives, castigating the company’s relationship with the Ministry of Defence – its most important customer.
On Wednesday, Boatman published another attack, which Babcock labelled “inaccurate and misleading”, and its shares ended the days modestly higher.
GMS, which was founded in Abu Dhabi, operates a core fleet of 13 self-propelled self-elevating support vessels.
It now has a market value of just £44.5m following the slump in its shares, but counts a number of big-name City institutions among its major shareholders.
GMS has recently announced a string of other board changes, including the appointment of Tim Summers as its new chairman.
A spokesman for GMS declined to comment on Wednesday.