A former Ministry of Defence civil servant who joined shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft in February in controversial circumstances has resigned from the company.
Chris Bentley, aged 50, was regional marketing director for the Middle East at the MoD’s Defence Export Services Organisation until he quit the ministry to join Vosper as a commercial sales director with a seat on the board and responsibility for Vosper’s Middle East sales drive.
Martin Jay, Vosper managing director, said Bentley resigned last week because his management style clashed with Vosper’s. Bentley said the parting had been amicable.
Last week Vosper and GEC denied that GEC would mount a takeover of Vosper. It is suggested that Bentley and Jay disagreed over how to deal with the issue and also disagreed over Middle East sales issues.
Bentley’s appointment was criticised by Labour when in opposition and British Aerospace and GEC were said to be among big UK defence firms who wanted the appointment delayed.