UK - British Airways chairman Lord Marshall has hit out at new corporate governance guidelines which were forcing him to stand down because he reached the age of 70.
Marshall – who has been at BA for 21 years – said that under the combined code he had reached the “venerable age where FTSE100s are out”.
Until recently Marshall was also chairman of engineering group, Invensys, and a non-executive director at HSBC.
Unlike the combined code – based on Sir Derek Higgs’s corporate governance report – Marshall said he believed directors should be allowed to stay on while they provided a “real benefit to a company”.
He added: “It’s a pity that doesn’t happen because of a principle that has been established. It’s important for people in their mid-60s not to feel obligated to step down.”
Marshall also defended the company’s decision not to pay a dividend, and said BA had been hit by “huge external factors”, including the September 11 attacks, the Iraq war and the Sars virus.
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