CEO of Johnston Press Steps Down from William Hill board

© Copyright Billy McCrorie

On November 16, the Johnston Press’ chief executive has left his position as William Hill’s non-executive director after serving a for a term of nine years.

The departure of Ashley Highfield was first announced last October when the board said that he would be replaced by Mark Brooker, the former Betfair COO, in his role as the corporate responsibility committee’s chair.

After being a part of the board for nine years, Highfield took the conventional step of retiring, as directors are no longer considered independent after this period.

Meanwhile, Johnston Press has been hit by drama lately after an activist investor attempted to push for a boardroom shakeup at Johnston Press.

The company has said that it will put the proposal of Christen Ager-Hanssen, a shareholder, to replace the chair of the company with Alex Salmond, the former Scottish First Minister, to a vote, if it receives a request that is considered valid.

The owner of the Swedish Metro newspaper,  Ager-Hanssen, is the second biggest shareholder in the group that owns The Scotsman and the i newspaper, among other titles.

The first attempt of the Norwegian businessman to remove Camilla Rhodes, the company’s current chair, was prevented by a “poison pill” debt agreement which could have forced the business into the hands of its creditors.