Southern Cross head to step down with no severance pay

Jamie Buchan Mr Buchan, who will not take any severance pay, had already agreed to a 20% pay cut in February

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The chief executive of Southern Cross is expected to step down, the board of the failed care home operator has said.

Jamie Buchan joined the Darlington firm in 2009 just as problems were emerging.

The board said his anticipated departure was "part of the financial restructuring of the group" and would happen "once the process of transitioning homes is well advanced".

They added that Mr Buchan had chosen not to take severance pay. The package on offer was worth almost £500,000.

"Jamie Buchan's decision not to take compensation when he steps down as chief executive later in the restructuring process is entirely consistent with the tireless and selfless approach he has adopted while leading the management team at Southern Cross," said chairman Christopher Fisher.

In February, Mr Buchan also agreed to cut his salary by 20% to £344,000.

Southern Cross is set to shut down after landlords owning all 752 of its care homes said they wanted to leave the group.

Operation of two-thirds of the homes is expected to be transferred to their respective landlords, while the fate of the other third is unclear.

The restructuring process is planned to be completed by the end of October, and Mr Buchan is likely to go some time in the next two months, a company spokesman said.

Before joining Southern Cross in 2003, Mr Buchan oversaw the turnaround and sale of the Excel Centre in London Docklands.

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