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Thompson takes up CORGI helm

Ian Powney has resigned as chief operating officer (COO) of CORGI, to be replaced by Mike Thompson, who will take on the position of chief executive officer (CEO).

H&V News reported last week (see H&V News, February 2) that Mr Powney had gone on leave with Mr Thompson standing in.


Mr Powney was appointed to the role of COO less than a year ago, replacing Mr Thompson, who moved to a part-time role as chair of CORGI’s board.


CORGI is currently in the process of responding to the Health and Safety Executive’s Invitation to Tender to run the new gas registration scheme.


A statement from the gas watchdog said: “Mr Thompson’s ongoing involvement in CORGI’s strategy and activity ensures the company will maintain organisational continuity and remain focused on gas safety.”


Tony Brunton, a member of the CORGI Trust, feared the change in senior management might jeopardise CORGI’s bid to run the new scheme.


“As a member of the CORGI Trust, I’m concerned that CORGI’s senior management is going through such important changes this close to the invitation to tender,” he said.


Some industry voices have also raised concerns that re-hiring Mr Thompson represents a poor use of registrant’s fees. According to the 2007 CORGI Trust Report, Mr Thompson received a payment of £120,000 as compensation for loss of office when Mr Powney took over.


Clive Dickin, CEO of the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors told H&V News: “You could argue that Mr Thompson’s compensation payment isn’t a great use of registrant’s fees. But you have to bear in mind that CORGI is also a commercial organisation, and gathers money from other sources.


“You also have to ask yourself - did the CORGI board have any choice but to re-appoint Mr Thompson? Would anyone from outside want the job? It is possible that CORGI will not exist by the summer if it fails in its bid to run the scheme. It’s a mess, and it is not what one wants to see from a body that runs a gas installer registration scheme.”

In response to these comments, Mr Thompson and the CORGI executive team said: 'The CORGI Trust accounts are transparent and professionally audited. This is a matter that the CORGI Trust board is already aware of and will discuss.

The deadline for the second stage of the competition to run a new gas installer registration scheme is March 10, with the winner expected to be announced in the summer, and the new scheme due to start in April 2009.