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Pace Names Leighton as Next Chairman to Succeed McTighe

Pace Plc, the world’s biggest maker of digital television set-top boxes, named Allan Leighton as its next chairman to succeed Mike McTighe, who is retiring after 10 years as a director.

Leighton, a former chairman of Royal Mail Group Ltd. and former chief executive officer of Asda Group Ltd., the U.K. unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., was appointed a director today and will become chairman in the next few months, the Shipley, northern England-based company, said in a Regulatory News Service statement today.

Pace will miss analysts’ estimates for revenue and operating profit, the company said in separate statements in March and earlier this month. Altium Capital Ltd. analyst Jon Fletcher said following the operating profit warning that the company’s leadership needed refreshing.

“I’ve always felt there is a ‘great technology company’ in there” having watched the company for 15 years, Leighton said in today’s statement. “My task now with the management and the board is to deliver that ‘great technology company’ and the value that goes with it without the bumps. This process will start with a strategic review of the company.”

Pace shares climbed as much as 4 percent to 119.5 pence and closed at 117.8 pence at 4:30 p.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 358.8 million pounds ($590 million).

McTighe, who is also chairman of JJB Sports Plc, had been chairman of Pace for five years.

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