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The Times: Big shot

Maarten van den Bergh, the Dutchman named by The Times as the most powerful figure in British business last year, is tipped to be appointed deputy chairman of BT, a role that will see him lead the hunt for a successor to Sir Christopher Bland, the group’s chairman.
Mr van den Bergh, a former chairman of Lloyds TSB, would succeed Sir Anthony Greener, BT’s current deputy chairman. 
 
The 64-year-old Dutchman will remain non-executive director of British Airways and Royal Dutch Shell and a member of the supervisory board of Akzo Nobel, the Dutch chemicals group.

Born in New York in 1942, Mr van den Bergh is the grandson of a margarine magnate, whose company became part of Unilever in 1927. He spent most of his career in the oil industry, working for Shell for 32 years before becoming its group managing director in 1992.

His subsequent non-executive roles at UK companies saw him top The Times Power 100 list of the most influential FTSE directors last year. Asked about his management style, he told The Times recently: “I am very hands-off. I have an open-door policy.”

Mr van den Bergh, the father of two daughters, speaks English, German, Japanese and Spanish.

INGRID MANSELL
 

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