* Britain’s longest serving minister for trade, Sir Richard Needham, is to become vice-chairman of NEC Europe at the end of the month. A founder member of the UK-Japan 2000 Group, Needham is expected to provide ‘local representation’ and ‘potential opportunities’ for the Japanese corporation.
He comes from a two-year association with GEC, where he became chairman of its telecoms division, GPT, earlier this year.
* Adrian Montague, formerly joint head of global project finance with investment bank Kleinwort Benson, has been appointed chief executive of the Government’s new Private Finance Initiative (PFI) taskforce. Montague, 49, will head the taskforce for the next two years.
The Government wants Montague to introduce tighter commercial management to the troubled initiative. The PFI has concentrated on transport and defence schemes since its launch in 1992, but has had a patchy record in other sectors.
* Dr Malcolm Kennedy, chairman of both the consulting engineer Merz and McLellan and its sister company Parsons Brinckerhoff International, has been selected as deputy president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Kennedy is expected to become president in two years’ time.
* Birkbys Plastics has promoted Ian Hunter to technical director. Previously general manager of engineering, Hunter now also assumes responsibility for technological development.
* John Mayo is to succeed David Newlands as finance director of GEC in October, following a five-year association with the Zeneca Group.
* Rod Mitchell has joined Leicester-based robotics company ATM Automation as project manager. He was formerly development engineer at Molins.
* Fortress Interlocks has appointed Clive Handy to the board. Formerly general manager, Handy now holds the title of managing director of the company.
* Qualified chartered electrical engineer Roy Williams, has been appointed sales and marketing director at Portsmouth-based mechanical and engineering company PA.