(Refiled to change dateline, shortens headline)
* Bentley to take over from Ruby McGregor-Smith
* CEO succession plan review started last year
* Mitie warned on profits last month, citing Brexit
By Noor Zainab Hussain
Oct 10 British business and public services
outsourcing group Mitie announced the replacement of
Chief Executive Ruby McGregor-Smith on Monday, three weeks
after a profit warning that sent its shares down by over 28
The pest control to cleaning, security and ancillary
healthcare services provider said Phil Bentley, a former head
of UK energy supplier British Gas, would take over from
McGregor-Smith in December.
McGregor-Smith, who has been chief executive since March
2007, having joined Mitie as finance director in 2002, denied
that her decision to step down was related to the profit
Mitie also said it had started a review of its CEO
succession plan last year, at McGregor-Smith's request.
"They've (the group) always known and I've always known that
a decade was going to be the time when I said it is time for
someone else to do the role," McGregor-Smith told Reuters.
"All we did three weeks ago was say our profits will be
slightly lower. We didn't come out with anything too dramatic
... Of course he (Bentley) will change things as all CEOs do,
but there are no planned changes at all at present," she added.
Jefferies analysts said that while the appointment was not
unexpected, the timing was "a little quicker" than anticipated.
Mitie's share price was up 0.2 percent at 194.5 pence by
0940 GMT on Monday, little changed from the price on Sept 19,
the day of the profit warning.
The company has been under pressure since blaming June's
Brexit vote for large new contracts failing to emerge as its
clients put off new investment decisions.
"In the light of last month's profit warning... the timing
of this announcement is likely to create some uncertainty, with
management change in the sector often a catalyst for further
issues to be identified," Canaccord Genuity analysts said.
Bentley was the chief executive of UK-based telecoms firm
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) until May this year when
it was sold for 3.5 billion pounds to Liberty Global.
Before joining CWC at the beginning of 2014 he had run the
British Gas arm of Centrica since 2007 and before that
was Centrica's finance director for seven years. He will join
Mitie in November before taking the top job on December 12.
"The economy is in a tougher place and he (Bentley) will
have to handle that. He's a very able leader and he will
absolutely be able to take the group through that,"
Cannacord Genuity analysts said Bentley had led the
turnaround of British Gas as managing director between 2007 and
2013, when sales rose 30 percent and profit grew from 300
million pounds to 1.1 billion pounds.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Sarah Young
in London; Editing by Adrian Croft, Greg Mahlich)