Board-in-waiting installed as ITV searches for chairman

LONDON - Sir Brian Pitman has been appointed as interim chairman of ITV, as Granada and Carlton pledge to have a permanent chairman in place by the time their merger goes through in the new year.

A steering committee consisting of three non-executive directors from Granada and three from Carlton Communications met yesterday to discuss the future board structure for the merged ITV.

The committee confirmed that until the completion of the £4.5bn merger, Carlton non-executive director Sir Brian, the former boss of Lloyds TSB, would act as interim chairman. Sir George Russell from Granada has also been appointed as interim deputy chairman of a "board-in-waiting".

The interim board is made up of the six non-executive directors in the steering committee, plus Granada chief executive Charles Allen and finance director Henry Staunton, who will have the same roles at ITV.

A firm of unnamed headhunters has also been hired to find a permanent independent chairman of ITV to replace Carlton chairman Michael Green, who was removed in a shareholder coup last month. Green remains chairman of Carlton until the merger goes through.

A statement issued by the two companies said: "The objective is to have the chairman in place by the time that the merger is completed, which is expected to happen early in the new year."

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