GKN chief executive-designate leaves before taking office

Surprise announcement by engineering group sends stock to 16-month low

An Airbus A320neo. GKN said that write-offs at North American plants, which make parts for Airbus and other aircraft manufacturers, could jump by as much as £130 million. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

An Airbus A320neo. GKN said that write-offs at North American plants, which make parts for Airbus and other aircraft manufacturers, could jump by as much as £130 million. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

 

Engineering group GKN, a key supplier to Airbus, took the unprecedented step of dropping its new chief six weeks before he was even due to start the job, saying it had decided he wasn’t the right person to run the business.

Kevin Cummings, who had led GKN’s aerospace division for almost four years and was handed the top post in September, has left with immediate effect, the company said Thursday. The surprise announcement sent the stock to a 16-month low.

Anne Stevens (69), a GKN director who spent 16 years at Ford Motor where she was chief operating officer for the Americas, will instead become chief executiveO on an interim basis when current chief Nigel Stein retires at the end of the year.

GKN didn’t explain the switch. At the same time, it said that write-offs at North American plants, which make parts for Airbus, helicopter producer Sikorsky and Honda’s new business-jet arm, could jump by as much as £130 million.

GKN shares fell 10 per cent to 280 pence at one point before finishing 5.16 per cent weaker. – Bloomberg