Berry tipped as Weir chairman as Smith retires

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CHARLES Berry is the frontrunner to be named chairman of engineering company Weir Group at today’s annual general meeting in Glasgow.

If confirmed in the post, Berry will team up with former ScottishPower colleague and contemporary Keith Cochrane who is chief executive of Weir.

Berry, 60, joined the Weir board in March as a non-executive director and became a member of both the audit and remuneration committees.

The pumps and valves manufacturer is expected to confirm today that he will succeed Lord Smith who is stepping down after 11 years.

Smith’s retirement, revealed in Scotland on Sunday at the weekend, will be announced at the AGM and will mark more than a decade of substantial growth and transition for the company. He is expected to stay on until the end of the year.

Weir no longer manufactures in Scotland but has become a global business and a constituent of the FTSE 100 shares index.

Berry, chairman of Drax Group since April 2008, was a key member of the ScottishPower executive team from 1991. He was appointed to the board in 1999.

From 2000 to 2005 he was chief executive of the company’s UK operations, the trading business, energy retailing and strategic transactions, such as renewables development.

He is a former non-executive chairman of Eaga and of Thus Group and has also been on the boards of Carillion Energy and Senior.