CHANGE OF FOCUSNew role for founder

The founder of price comparison website is stepping back from the day-to-day running of the business.

Chief executive Simon Nixon, who launched the firm in 1999, will take on a new role of executive deputy chairman to focus on product development.

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Nixon owns 54 per cent of but has no plans to sell any of his shares.

He said yesterday he believed the entrepreneurial "super-growth" phase of the business was over, meaning different skills are needed to run a larger and more complex firm.

The company, based in Ewloe, Flintshire, has been hit by competition and a clampdown on lending by struggling banks since it floated 18 months ago, sending its shares down nearly 75 per cent.

This has seen the value of Nixon's stake fall from around 461 million to 125 million since the 170p float in July last year.

Nixon will be succeeded in February by Peter Plumb, who joined in November after previous experience with major firms including Disney and PepsiCo.



ENSUS, the bio-fuels company, yesterday said that the UK's first major bio-ethanol plant could open next summer, producing up to 450 million litres of fuel each year.

The plant, at Wilton on Teesside, is expected to be the largest bio- refinery, taking in more than one million tonnes of wheat each year and produces 350,000 tonnes of animal feed as well as bio-ethanol.


I AM gravely concerned by the apparent multiple failures over at least a decade to thoroughly investigate these allegations or at any point to seek formal authority to pursue them."

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Christopher Cox, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, criticising his own regulators for not investigating Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff


Hospitality students

CRERAR Hotels has donated 25,000 the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland to fund part of next year's emerging talent scholarship.

Since the scholarships were launched four years ago, more than 300 individuals have benefited from the emerging talent programme.



EMBATTLED mobile phone manufacturer Motorola is suspending contributions to one of its workers' retirement plans, stopping some pay increases and reducing the salaries of its two top executives to cut costs.

Greg Brown and Sanjay Jha, joint chief executives, will voluntarily take a 25 per cent cut to their salaries.