Rolls-Royce Recruits Croda’s Frew as Its First Female Chair

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc named the first female chair in its 115-year history, selecting chemicals and utilities veteran Anita Frew to take over the role later this year.

Frew will succeed Ian Davis, Rolls’s chairman for almost nine years, on Oct. 1, the jet-engine maker said Wednesday, boosting the ranks of women occupying top posts in U.K. business. Only 11 of the FTSE 100 firms had a female chair in 2020, according to the Hampton-Alexander Review of the boardroom gender gap.

Frew, 63, has been chair of specialty chemicals-maker Croda International Plc since 2015. She is a non-executive director of resources company BHP Group Plc, was recently deputy chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Plc and has been chairman of Victrex Plc and a director at Northumbrian Water Group Ltd.

Rolls-Royce Recruits Croda’s Frew as Its First Female Chair

Rolls-Royce is refreshing its senior leadership after taking a financial battering during the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to subdue travel on the wide-body planes that its engines power for the next few years. Chief Executive Officer Warren East said last month he’s counting on a second-half travel rebound to resume generating cash during that period.

Read More: Rolls-Royce Pins Hopes on Second Half With Big Jets Sidelined

Frew was the “unanimous and clear choice” of Rolls-Royce’s nominations committee and brings with her two decades of boardroom experience, senior independent director Kevin Smith said in a statement.

She’ll receive an annual fee of 490,000 pounds ($695,000) plus 70,000 pounds as a non-executive director, along with other benefits.

There are only eight female CEOs at FTSE 100 firms, data from the Hampton-Alexander Review shows, though almost two-thirds of Britain’s top 350 listed companies now fill at least 33% of boardroom posts with female appointees.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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