Insurance giant Aviva has announced that its chief executive Andrew Moss is to step down unexpectedly with immediate effect – just over a week after shareholders rejected the company’s remuneration report.
His interim replacement, former Australia and New Zealand Banking Group CEO John McFarlane, said his priority is to “regain the respect” of shareholders – and that he would meet all major investors shortly.
The Sunday Telegraph reported over the weekend that two of Aviva’s largest shareholders had called for Moss to be replaced.
Moss had earlier waived his 2012 salary increase following shareholder concerns over executive pay.
Aviva said incoming chairman John McFarlane has been named interim executive deputy chairman and executive chairman from July 1 pending the appointment of a new CEO.
The recently announced management reshuffle, which saw the departure of Aviva Investors’ CEO Alain Dromer, is unaffected by Moss’ departure.It’s the latest upheaval at Aviva, which earlier this year cut the London socially responsible equities desk at Aviva Investors.
“Aviva’s shareholders are in very good hands,” said Aviva chairman Lord Sharman. “His leadership and shareholder credentials are impeccable”.
Aviva said Moss felt it was in the “best interests of the company” to step aside.
Moss joined Aviva as finance director in 2004 and had been CEO since 2007. A further announcement will be made to confirm the “financial terms of his departure”.
Macfarlane is a non-executive director of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He retired in 2007 after 10 years as CEO of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
McFarlane has announced a new set of priorities for Aviva: focus, financial strength, performance and stakeholders.
An investor presentation scheduled for May 24 has been postponed. Aviva announcement