Napier named new chairman of Aegis Group

LONDON - John Napier, former chief executive of recruitment consultancy Hays, is to take over as chairman of Aegis Group when Colin Sharman retires later this month.

Napier will take on the non-executive chairman role on 17 July, adding to his chairmanship of the Royal Sun Alliance Group, which he has held since 2003. Aegis owns the media agencies Carat and Vizeum, as well as assets including digital creative agency glue London.

Napier was chief executive of Hays between 1990 and 1998. Before that he was chief executive of market research and information company AGB. From 1998 until 2000, he was chairman of frozen food company Booker. He was also chairman of Kelda, the water company, between 1999 and 2008, when it was delisted.

Sharman steps down from the role, fresh from what Aegis hopes is a final victory against Vincent Bolloré, chairman of rival ad group Havas.

Bolloré is the biggest shareholder in Aegis and has made five separate attempts to gain representation on the board of the company. Aegis has argued strenuously against the move, given that Bolloré's role as the boss of Havas represents a conflict of interest.

Following the failure of his fifth attempt last month, Bolloré has said he will not try again, and plans instead to focus on other activities.

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