The AA’s board has “removed” its executive chairman for gross misconduct and revealed its full-year performance would miss previous expectations.
In a statement to the City the motoring services group said Bob MacKenzie had left the company with immediate effect though it refused to explain why, except to say it was a “personal conduct-related matter”.
The AA confirmed there was no connection between the decision and its separate warning of a hit to profit expectations. Shares fell 18% following the revelations.
It reported a negative impact to revenue after “significant spikes in demand” in June and July meant it had not had enough roadside patrols in place to help drivers.
Image: The AA has more than three million personal roadside assistance members
The AA said two other issues would also hit earnings including an earlier-than-expected bill related to a profit-sharing arrangement.
It said the cumulative effect would mean its full-year performance expectations falling in line with earnings in its previous financial year, when trading profits stood at £403m.
Analysts had expected to see them rise to around £413m in 2017/18 – a figure that would have represented the first growth under a group transformation plan.
Stock in the FTSE 250 firm closed 14% lower.
The AA had previously announced that the group was to split the executive chairman role as part of efforts to ensure best practice in corporate governance after he led the company to its flotation in June 2014.
He will be succeeded by non-executive chairman John Leach while fellow AA director Simon Breakwell, the founder of Expedia, was named acting chief executive.