Anita Frew, a chemicals and utilities expert, was named the first female chair in Rolls-Royce Holdings’ 115-year existence. She will take up the post later this year. On October 1, Frew will succeed Ian Davis, the jet-engine maker’s chairman for over nine years, bolstering the ranks of women in prominent positions in UK business. According to the Hampton-Alexander Review on the boardroom gender gap, just 11 of the FTSE 100 corporations had a female chair in 2020.
Since 2015, Frew, 63, has served as head of Croda International, a manufacturer of speciality chemicals. She is a non-executive director of BHP Group, has served as chairperson of Victrex and a director of Northumbrian Water Group, and was recently deputy chairman of Lloyds Banking Group.
After suffering a financial setback as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, which is likely to curtail travel on the wide-body planes that its engines power for the next few years, Rolls-Royce is rejuvenating its senior leadership. Last month, Chief Executive Officer Warren East stated that he expects a second-half travel resurgence to begin cash generation during that time.
According to senior independent director Kevin Smith, Frew was the “unanimous and unambiguous choice” of Rolls-nominations Royce’s committee and brings with her two decades of boardroom expertise. In addition to receiving $695,000 as an annual fee, she will also receive 70,000 pounds as a non-executive director and other perks. According to data from the Hampton-Alexander Review, there are just eight female CEOs among the FTSE 100, despite the fact that over two-thirds of Britain’s top 350 listed companies currently have at least 33% female board members.
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