The chief executive of a leading firm of headhunters today paid the price for a profits warning that sent shares sharply lower earlier this month.
Whitehead Mann, which carries out recruitment work on behalf of a number of blue-chip firms, said Stephen Lawrence had left with immediate effect.
His departure follows an announcement from the company that first-half revenues would be 12% lower because of its weak market position in the United States. Shares plunged 35% in the wake of the downgrade.
Whitehead said Mr Lawrence’s role would be filled by finance director Chris Merry, who steps up to become managing director, and by Colin Southgate, who will increase his workload as chairman of the executive committee.
Mr Lawrence took on the role in 2002 and led a recovery until progress at the company, which has offices in London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Cirencester and Birmingham, faltered in recent months.
Southgate said: “The board wishes to thank Stephen Lawrence for his contribution during the transitionary period the firm has experienced over the past two years and wish him success in his future career.
“Having taken recent measures with regard to our US operations, the firm’s core business in the UK and continental Europe, as well as Asia, continue to perform in line with the board’s revised expectations.”