A trio of former directors from Dulux paints giant ICI were today charged with reviving pest-control-to-hygiene firm Rentokil Initial.
John McAdam, the chief executive of the industrial giant until its £8 billion takeover by Dutch rival Akzo Nobel, will take over as Rentokil's chairman.
Rentokil's top brass have paid the price for problems with its City Link delivery arm which will lead to a profits slump this year.
The company will be relegated from the FTSE 100 Index next week. Current chief executive Doug Flynn and chairman Brian McGowan are stepping down with immediate effect.
Joining Dr McAdam at Rentokil will be former ICI directors Alan Brown and Andy Ranson, who become chief executive and executive director respectively.
Dr McAdam has strong credentials as a turnaround specialist after his reshaping of ICI following his appointment as chief executive in 2003. He slimmed down the industrial firm's sprawling portfolio with a series of disposals - leaving the company focused on paints, adhesives and starches - as well as addressing its pension deficits and high debts.
Rentokil's senior independent director Peter Long said the trio's track record "spoke for themselves". He added: "I am in no doubt that their proven skills, in particular the operational and strategic rigour which they applied so successfully to the remarkable turnaround at ICI, will be brought to bear on the many and complex issues facing the group."
At the end of February, Rentokil said pre-tax profits fell significantly below 2007's £142 million after an "unacceptable" performance from City Link - which has been hit by falling consumer spending and poor management.
The issues - which the company first warned about in December - overshadowed Rentokil's expectations of modest growth from its other operations.
The company has spent millions on buying up the former City Link franchises - as well as adding the Target Express parcels firm - but said it had "tried to do too much too quickly" without establishing a sound base for the operation, leading to a slump in performance.