An acting chairman has been put in place at the Institute of Directors (IoD), as it looks to push forward following a legal investigation into the behaviour of IoD chairwoman Lady Barbara Judge.
Chris Walton, the former CFO at easyJet and a non-executive IoD council member, has stepped into the role on an interim basis. In a joint statement, Walton and director general Stephen Martin say that a search for a new permanent chair will now begin, following a “painful process”.
They state: “Though the process has been painful, the IoD has followed necessary and proportionate procedure in investigating allegations made against its former chair…We look forward to this new stage in the IoD’s history, where we will further strengthen our focus on supporting IoD members, whether they are experienced directors, or new company founders.”
A legal investigation was led by senior independent council member Joan Stringer into allegations of misconduct against Lady Judge. An earlier report by The Times stated that Lady Judge had “voluntarily” vacated the role while she contested the allegations.
The IoD’s Martin had previously stated that the investigation, undertaken by law firm Hill Dickinson, was “full and fair”.
“…An investigation in which everyone had the opportunity to be heard, including those accused of wrongdoing,” said Martin in a statement. “We had expert guidance and this process was conducted to the highest standards by an independent firm.”
Lady Judge is one of the most senior international businesspeople. The US-born banker has chaired the Pension Protection Fund and was named IoD chair in 2015.