Archive : Sweeping changes in Leyland executive

By Clifford Webb

Derek WhittakerMr Derek Whittaker, managing director of Leyland Cars, last night gave details of a new and simplified management structure for the company involving sweeping changes in his executive team. The move, which was forecast in yesterday’s Business News is designed to shorten the chain of command between Mr Whittaker and his plant managers in the hope that it will improve Leyland’s dismal production performance.

Despite the fact that the shake-up comes so soon after the formation of the new state controlled British Leyland, it was generly well received last night within the company and has so far produced only one resignation.

Mr Alec Sanders, director in charge of production engineering and manufacturing services, is leaving the company. He was effectively No 2 to Mr Bill Davis, Leyland Cars manufacturing chief, who asked for another appointment. Mr Davis becomes director in charge of military contracts and government affairs.

His successor as director in charge of manufacturing is Mr Richard Perry and formerly managing director of the power train and foundry division, which now disappears. The other half of the manufacturing set-up-the body and assembly division is also dispensed with.

Leyland Cars said in a statement last night: “The organization has been effected to reduce the managing director’s span of control and increase the cohesiveness of the group’s senior management team. The manufacturing division will be restructured in order to simplify and strengthen the line organization between the plants and the director, Mr Perry.”

The new seven-strong top management team. now is: Mr Colin Daniel, director of finance and systems; Mr Davis, director of military contracts and government affairs; Mr John Egan, director of service and parts; Mr Keith Hopkins, director of sales and marketing; Mr Spen King, director of engineering and product planning; Mr Perry, director of the manufacturing division; and Mr Geoffrey Whalen, director of personnel.

Keith Adams

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