11 November 2003

Smiths Group chief executive to stay until 2008; Smiths appoints Peter Jackson as non-executive director

The Smiths Group Board today announced that chief executive Keith Butler-Wheelhouse had agreed to continue in post for an additional two years, deferring his retirement until age 62 in March 2008.

Speaking at the companys Annual General Meeting today, Smiths Group chairman Keith Orrell-Jones said:

 This will allow Keith not only to continue to lead the company for the next four and a half years, but also to oversee succession to the posts of other executive directors, four of whom are due to retire by mid-2007.

Saying that he was delighted that Mr. Butler-Wheelhouse had accepted the Boards invitation to serve until 2008 he added:

 The company will continue to benefit from his vision and energy over this period. By deciding these matters now, the Board is able to provide for constructive and orderly succession.

New non-executive appointed

At the meeting the chairman also announced the appointment of Mr. Peter Jackson as a non-executive director of Smiths Group. Mr. Jackson, chief executive of Associated British Foods, will join the Smiths Board on 1 December 2003.

Commenting on this appointment, Mr. Orrell-Jones said:

Peter has extensive experience of general management, and before that of employee relations, in a variety of industries. I look forward to the valuable contribution he will assuredly make as a director at Smiths.

ENDS