Mr Jack Plane, former deputy chairman of British Leyland, who resigned last week, said that he had left the company six months early partly as a protest at “one-man control” exercised by Lord Stokes. The BLMC chairman has already replied to these criticisms of his role. Speaking from his Johannesburg home at the weekend Mr Plane said that while he could only sing the praises of Lord Stokes, “He is not a super-man”.
Since Leyland took control of British Motor Corporation by merger, Mr Plane said, “I have supported the necessity of better financial control. But of late I have seen what I believe to be a very wrong policy introduced, and that is to see financial control take over management in British Leyland International “. Pointing out that Lord Stokes was chief executive and managing director of the corporation and chairman of the board, Mr Plane said that, with the exception of a stockbroker and a new director, other board in members were all employees or ex-employees.
“As good as Lord Stokes is, and he is very good indeed, I maintain that in the interests of shareholders, an urgent requirement is firstly a separate appointment of managing director, and not joint managing director. Secondly the board should have a much bigger outside representation, so that it can perform its main task of planning the future of the corporation. These I consider are urgent requirements”. Mr Plane reiterated.