Car dealer group Lookers has appointed former Toyota and Lexus boss Paul Van der Burgh as a non-executive director.
Van der Burgh will join the board on April 1 and will become a member of the group’s audit and risk, renumeration and nominations committees.
The executive has extensive motor trade experience leading multinational brands around the world in a 35-year career.
He spent 15 years at Toyota and Lexus, most recently as the president and managing director of Toyota GB.
Van der Burgh said: ‘I am thrilled to be joining the Lookers board at a very exciting time for the business.
‘Having spent most of my career with major global manufacturing brands, I really appreciate the importance of a strong, well located dealership network.
‘I am also well aware of the changing dynamics in the market, not least through electrification and digitisation, where Lookers can further enhance its proposition and prosper in the current environment.’
Before his time at Toyota, he held a variety of roles at Ford in the UK and America.
Lookers chairman Phil White said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Paul will be joining the Lookers board next month.
‘His track record at both Toyota and Ford speaks for itself.
‘He is well known and highly respected throughout the motor industry for all he has achieved in his career.
‘His in-depth understanding of our industry, combined with his extensive experience, will be a great asset to Lookers as we continue to lift the brakes on the business and look forward to the multiple opportunities ahead. Paul’s experience and guidance will be invaluable to us on that journey.’
Last week, Lookers announced that the FCA’s investigation into its past practices had been ended without a fine.
The dealer group is slowly getting back on track, with chief executive Mark Raban tackling the historic issues.
Shares were relisted for trading in January after a six month hiatus following financial reporting delays.
Lookers timeline: What’s happened when?
March 2, 2021 – FCA investigation closed and no fine imposed on Lookers. FCA expressed ‘concerns’ relating to ‘historic culture, systems and controls’, but said no further action would be taken.
January 29, 2021 – Lookers revealed it lost £36.1m in the first half of 2020. The interim results led to shares being relisted on London Stock Exchange. They immediately rose 77 per cent.
January 6, 2021 – Lookers appoints Anna Bielby as interim chief financial officer, but there was no news on the delayed interim results.
December 29, 2020 – A third of shareholders vote against Lookers directors’ remuneration packages – including CEO Mark Raban’s £450k salary – at a general meeting.
December 18, 2020 – Lookers tells investors that its interim results, promised to be delivered before the end of the year, will now not be published.
December 9, 2020 – Lookers reveals interim CFO Jim Perrie has quit early and says it is ‘unlikely’ the interim results will be out before the end of the year.
November 25, 2020 – Lookers finally releases its annual accounts for 2019 showing a statutory loss for 2019 of £45.5m. Promises interim results in December and the hopeful reinstatement of shares on Stock Market.
October 31, 2020 – Long-standing Lookers non-executive director Tony Bramall, one of the group’s major investors, brings forward the date he will leave the board to the end of December. No reason is given for his early departure.
October 19, 2020 – Lookers updates market on performance in Q3, but still no word on its 2019 accounts or the FCA investigation. Analysts expect results to be out before December.
August 20, 2020 – Accounts delayed for fourth time and no promise given as to when they’ll be published.
June 9, 2020 – Lookers says it will suspend shares on July 1. Delays accounts for third time and says they’ll be published ‘no later than the end of August 2020’.
June 5, 2020 – Lookers says it will axe 12 dealerships and cut 1,500 jobs.
May 2020 – Pendragon CEO Bill Berman admits he wrote to Lookers to discuss a merger and updates Stock Market to that effect. Move described as ‘two drunk men bumping into each other in a bar’.
April 2020 – Fraud investigation deepens. £4m charge revealed and firm says there could be more. Delays accounts to June.
March 12, 2020 – New chief operating officer Cameron Wade leaves role after only a month in post.
March 11, 2020 – Lookers delays results, saying that in final stages of preparation ‘potentially fraudulent transactions’ in one division were discovered. Promises results in April.
November 2019 – Chief executive Andy Bruce and chief operating officer Nigel McMinn leave firm abruptly.
June 2019 – FCA launches review into sales processes at Lookers between January 2016 and June 2019. Lookers cannot ‘estimate what effect, if any, the outcome of the investigation may have’.
December 2018 – Lookers launches independent internal audit into sales process. It eventually finds ‘control issues’ in sales process where ‘improvements’ are needed. Findings handed to FCA.
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