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Wed June 23 2021

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Rawlings’ return prompts Lakehouse chief’s departure

22 Apr 16 On the back of the recent boardroom coup Stuart Black has resigned as chief executive of Lakehouse.

CFO Jeremy Simpson with Stuart Black and Sean Birrane in happier times last year - now only Simpson remains
CFO Jeremy Simpson with Stuart Black and Sean Birrane in happier times last year - now only Simpson remains

Lakehouse has now been through two chief executives and two chairmen since issuing a profits warning in February.

First of all, in March Sean Birrane resigned as chief executive after founder and biggest shareholder Steve Rawlings orchestrated more than 28% of the shares to vote against his reappointment to the board.

On this, chairman Stuart Black became chief executive (a post he had previously held prior to last year’s floatation) and non-exec director Chris Geoghegan became chairman. Mr Geoghegan stood down earlier this week to be replaced by Ric Piper, the former WS Atkins finance director approved by Mr Rawlings.

Yesterday Lakehouse announced that Stuart Black was now following Messrs Birrane and Geoghegan out of the door. The shareholder vote in March revealed even greater opposition to Stuart Black than to his erstwhile chief executive.

The new Lakehouse board is ensuring that Stuart Black works out his notice, however. “In line with his contractual obligations, he has provided six months' notice, commencing today,” it said in a statement, adding: “The board looks forward to working with Stuart to effect an orderly handover of his responsibilities.”

A search for a replacement has begun.

Stuart Black had been with Lakehouse since 2008 and is considered the architect of its growth that led to its initial public offering in March 2015.

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