Dismissal follows disagreement on scope of job

Axis Capital’s board has dismissed John Charman from the chairman’s role after a disagreement over the scope of his job.

The move comes only a month after Charman was appointed chairman of the Bermuda-based (re)insurer.

Despite the move, Charman will remain on the company’s board.

Former Axis chairman Michael Butt has returned to his old role, replacing Charman.  

Axis said it had endeavoured to resolve differences with Charman over his understanding of the role and responsibilities of the chairman position.

“After the board and Charman were unable to reach a resolution, the board concluded that the company would be best served by someone else serving as chairman and terminated Charman without cause from the position of chairman under the terms of his employment agreement,” an Axis statement said.

It added that Charman would remain a member of the board of directors because he had been elected there by Axis shareholders.

Charman was appointed Axis’s chairman in May this year after serving as chief executive since the company’s formation in November 2001. Former chief financial officer Albert Benchimol took over as chief executive.

Axis’s lead independent director Henry Smith said: “The entire board would like to thank John Charman for his contribution to Axis Capital’s success over the past decade. John’s tireless years of service and work ethic have helped to build and lay the groundwork for our company’s continued success for many years to come.”

Commenting on Michael Butt’s appointment as the new chairman, Smith said: “Michael Butt’s success as chairman is proven, having served the company in this capacity from September 2002 to May 2012.”

Butt added: “I look forward to returning to the role of chairman of Axis Capital and want to reiterate the board’s full support for our current strategy, our CEO Albert Benchimol and the company’s strong management team. We are confident that Albert and the team will continue to build the value of the company for the long-term benefit of all stakeholders.”