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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs

Category : Business

While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted up

On approaching his 60th birthday this year, long-serving Tullow Oil boss Aidan Heavey told staff he felt “like two 30-year-olds”. A handful of recent shock departures by 50-something chief executives at European blue chip companies – none of them under any obvious pressure to quit – suggest some of his peers either lack that vigour, or want to channel it elsewhere.

Peter Voser is giving up one of the world’s most challenging chief executive roles at Royal Dutch Shell next year, before his 55th birthday, in pursuit of a “lifestyle change”. Swiss engineering group ABB’s 55-year-old boss Joe Hogan is also going, for “private reasons”. Pierre-Olivier Beckers, 53, is walking out on Belgian retailer Delhaize, and Paul Walsh, 57, is waving goodbye to drinks multinational Diageo. All four are about average European CEO age.

While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted up in recent years, and not just because of the tough economic times.

“The reality is it’s gruelling. It’s really tough, and there comes a point where you don’t want to do it any more,” said Ian Butcher, who headhunts board-level and senior executives for MWM Consulting.

“The quarterly reporting, the governance, the regulatory aspects, it just becomes very wearing – the level of scrutiny, the pace at which things are moving, the short-term nature of how people look at any given situation. Even over the past five years these things have made CEO a tougher position to hold, and the travel that people have to undertake in these jobs – it’s just something they run out of steam on.”

Some recent early retirees, while still well short of traditional retirement age, also got to the top spot early. “They’re still in their early fifties, with energy and a desire to do something, but they want to do something different, something quite significantly different sometimes,” says Butcher.

Voser fits that bill. He has no plans to collect well-paid chairmanships and non-executive directorships, as many ex-CEOs have done in the past.

Former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy has also resisted that gravy train since he left two years ago.

As for the early starters, executive search industry professionals point at people like Andrew Witty, the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, who took on the job aged 44 in 2008 and would have to stay in harness for another decade to reach 60 in the role.

Blue-chip bosses as young as Witty are still rare, but over a quarter of Europe’s current crop have less than two years in the job, and more than half have less than four, according to data from executive search specialists BoardEx.

The BoardEx data, collected for Reuters from 238 companies in the main stock indexes of Germany, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, puts the median CEO age at 55. The longest serving of them is Martin Gilbert of the British fund Aberdeen Asset Management. Though younger, at 57, Gilbert pips the 28.3-year tenure of Tullow’s double 30-year-old Heavey, with 29.8 years at the helm.

There are 17 top European CEOs who have been in the job for less than six months, and the youngest of the 225 in the group for whom ages were available is Vitaly Nesis, 37, who runs Polymetal International, the London-listed Russian precious metals miner.

While the recent spate of quitters are looking for something else to do, there are still some who appear to want nothing but to stay.

In the BoardEx group there are four over 70, and the oldest by eight years is Albert Frère, CEO of Group Bruxelles Lambert. Perhaps some linger on for fear that the pension pot is still a little light. Frere will have put such qualms behind him long ago. At 87, he is Belgium’s richest man.

Ocado shares lose 8% on worries about Waitrose contract

Category : Business

Waitrose lawyers looking at deal details after Ocado looking at tie-up with Morrisons

Ocado has dropped 8% on concerns about the effect of its proposed tie-up with Morrisons on its existing deal with Waitrose.

As the Guardian reported on Friday, lawyers for Waitrose are poring over its deal with Ocado to see if any move by the online grocer to help Morrisons set up a website would constitute breach of contract.

The news followed a protest vote by shareholders at Ocado’s annual meeting on Friday over board pay packages, including a 30% salary rise for chief executive Tim Steiner.

Ocado’s shares – which have been up sharply in recent days in antipation of the Morrisons deal – are currently down 18.2p at 206.4p. Analyst Clive Black at Shore Capital repeated his sell recommendation, saying:

The business seems to be evolving from an aspiration to be a proprietary retailer into a landlord of its two customer fulfilment centres and licensee of its kit to third parties. Whilst a notable potential change in strategy, it could be argued that it signals an admission of defeat by Ocado; so the introduction of Plan B.

We believe that Ocado is playing with fire in speaking to another British supermarket group, as it tries to utilise its substantially greater fulfilment capacity, because the group’s umbilical cord to Waitrose may be cut sooner than we anticipated and Ocado cannot exist as a commercial entity without Waitrose in our view.

Whilst Ocado states that any agreement with Morrison’s would not be a conflict with Waitrose, we see the mood of [Waitrose chief executive Mark Price] as being deadly serious. As such, Ocado may have irreparably polluted a commercial relationship upon which it is dependent and it must lead to a greater chance of a break in 2017 in our view. Additionally, Waitrose’s understandably forthright stance means that the prospect of Morrison and Waitrose brands simultaneously utilising Ocado’s fulfilment centres and vans is low. As such, the extent of a tie-up between Morrison and Ocado needs to be pencilled down, along with it the financial extent.

The strong appreciation of Ocado’s shares makes the stock more attractive for investors to bank gains and effectively short to our minds. Aside from now uber-stratospheric valuation multiples, the stock does not offer the prospect of a dividend anytime soon either, unlike all of its UK listed food retailers. Whilst we pride ourselves on taking reasonably long-term and strategic views of companies and industries, the time horizon for Ocado to be meaningfully profitable so that it pays a dividend to its shareholders is very extended; in fact it probably remains decades away, if ever. Now, many investors commendably operate on multi-decade timescales, but again, we believe that this is not applicable in Ocado’s case because it is selling multi-temperature foodstuffs where margin expansion potential is structurally low.

VIDEO: McDonald’s boss on dining at work

Category : Business

The chief executive of McDonald’s UK, Jill McDonald, on why the company is opening its burger-making plants to the public, and her own diet.

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Moody’s downgrades Co-op Bank rating

Category : World News

Co-op Bank’s debt rating is downgraded to “junk” status by Moody’s, and its chief executive resigns after the collapse of a deal to buy branches from Lloyds.

Original post: Moody’s downgrades Co-op Bank rating

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Diageo chief Paul Walsh to step down

Category : Business, World News

Paul Walsh, chief executive of the Guinness and Johnnie Walker drinks giant Diageo, is to step down, the company announces.

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RBS boss Hester ‘desperate to lend’

Category : Business, World News

Royal Bank of Scotland is “desperate” to lend £20bn to UK businesses, the bank’s chief executive has claimed.

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Shell profits up in first quarter

Category : Business

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reports a rise in first quarter profits and says chief executive Peter Voser will retire next year.

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Santander chief Saenz steps down

Category : Business, World News

Santander’s chief executive Alfredo Saenz steps down after a legal battle, and is replaced by Javier Marin.

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International Cinematographers Guild President Steven Poster Re-Elected and His Slate Wins Election Majority

Category : Stocks, World News

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 27, 2013) – Incumbent president Steven Poster, ASC was re-elected and the slate of candidates backing the policies of the current administration won a decisive majority on the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographers Guild in the unofficial election results announced yesterday.

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Don Root and Brad Root Named Manufacturing Executives of the Year at the 2013 Washington Manufacturing Awards

Category : Stocks

SEATTLE, WA–(Marketwired – Apr 26, 2013) – At the Seattle Business Magazine’s 2013 Manufacturing Awards, Don Root and Brad Root, were jointly awarded Manufacturing Executive of the Year in the large company category. This is the first time GM Nameplate has been a finalist for a Washington Manufacturing Award.

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