Two G4S Directors Quit Over Olympic Failure
Two directors of security firm G4S have resigned after the company announced the findings of an independent review into its Olympics contract.
Chief operating officer David Taylor-Smith and Ian Horseman Sewell, who was head of global events, have taken the blame for the staffing fiasco.
Chief executive Nick Buckles, who appeared twice before a parliamentary panel, will remain in his post.
Shares in G4S rose slightly in morning trading.
Mr Buckles told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee in July that the staffing failure was a fiasco and a “humiliating shambles”.
The report by PwC found that monitoring and tracking of the security workforce was inadequate and that management failed to appreciate the scale and exact nature of the project.
G4S fulfilled 83% of contracted shifts at the Games, failing to provide all of the 10,400 contracted guards and forcing the Government to step in with military personnel.
But last April, Mr Horseman Sewell told a security conference in Manchester that the firm was well on the way to fulfilling staffing levels.
Mr Horseman Sewell described it as “a massive recruitment exercise”.
He told the audience: “I am pleased to tell you that as I left the office in Canary Wharf this morning we just passed 80,000 people applying for a job to work at the Olympic Games in security.”
The two resignations come a day after Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman revealed a board meeting was convened over who would “carry the can” for the debacle.
Mr Taylor-Smith has worked for G4S since 1998, and the firm is the world’s biggest private security services provider.
The company said it stood to lose around £50m on its Olympic contract but insisted it would not waive its multi-million-pound management fee.
G4S said its board had decided that it was in the best interests of the company and its shareholders that Mr Buckles remains as chief executive.
Mr Buckles was not guilty of any significant shortcomings in his performance, the company said.
However, G4S will appoint a chief operating officer to work closely with Mr Buckles on areas such as customer service and project delivery.
It has also promised to carry out more rigorous risk assessment of new contracts and will demand board-level oversight on contracts where annual revenues exceed £50m.
On its website the firm said it “is trusted by a number of the world’s leading organisations” to manage risk on their behalf.
:: Mr Taylor-Smith and Mr Horseman Sewell are not expected to receive any pay-offs outside of notice entitlements within their contracts.