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Leeds seeks chief as favoured candidate falls ill

Leeds Building Society is recruiting for a new chief executive in the event that deputy chief executive David Pickersgill does not return from sick leave to replace the retiring Ian Ward.

It would not confirm how long Pickersgill, who has worked for the society since 1987 and has been a director since 1995, had been on sick leave but said the recruitment process is at an advanced stage. Ward will continue as chief executive until the position has been filled.

In May last year, the society announced that Ward would be retiring as chief executive at the end of the year but would remain as a director during the first quarter of 2011, with Pickersgill as his replacement.

A spokesman says: “It is a legal requirement that the society has a chief executive and, therefore, the board has initiated a recruitment process for this position in the event that David is not able to succeed Ian Ward.”

First Action Finance head of communications Jonathan Cornell says: “I am sure they can find a decent replacement if they need to.”

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