Blue Arrow’s Berry Out As Chairman, Replaced By Fromstein
LONDON (AP) _ Blue Arrow PLC said Wednesday that its chief executive, Mitchell Fromstein, was appointed to replace company founder Antony Berry as chairman, culminating a months-long feud between the two men which has rocked the British employment agency.
The move had been expected following a boardroom shuffle in January that left Fromstein as chief executive and relieved Berry of his executive role at the company he founded.
The company also said Michael Davies, a non-executive director since 1987, was made deputy chairman, replacing David Atkins, a former Blue Arrow executive and long-standing ally of Berry’s who has been on the board since 1984. In addition, Gilbert Palay, executive vice president of Blue Arrow’s U.S. subsidiary, Manpower Inc., was named to the board.
The changes consolidate Fromstein’s hold on Blue Arrow and completes a stunning comeback for the former head of Manpower who resigned his position on the Blue Arrow board in December in the midst of the feud with Berry.
Blue Arrow gained control of Manpower in a $1.34 billion takeover battle in 1987. The takeover of the Milwaukee-based employment agency tripled Blue Arrow’s size and left an uneasy alliance between the two companies’ strong- willed chairmen.
The company’s troubles have spawned takeover rumors, and Fromstein confirmed Monday that offers for the company had been made but weren’t considered serious.
On Tuesday, Blue Arrow said Harris Associates L.P., a Chicago-based investment consultancy, built up a 6.18 percent stake in the company.