Anita Frew to take the wheel at Rolls-Royce – first woman in 115 years

Anita Frew to take the wheel at Rolls-Royce – first woman in 115 years

Holdings 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 October 1, the jet-engine maker said on Wednesday, boosting the ranks of women occupying top posts in UK 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 since 2015. She is a non-executive director of resources company BHP Group, was recently deputy chairman of Lloyds Banking Group and has been chairman of Victrex and a director at Northumbrian Water Group.

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.

Anita Frew

Anita Frew

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 now fill at least 33 per cent of boardroom posts with female appointees.

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