December: ICE Director General Roger Dobson tells past president Tony Ridley that he plans to retire in 1998 at end of his eight year contract.
July: The ICE executive committee begins drafting a job specification.
September: Dobson announces his decision to retire in July 1998 at the age of 62. The selection panel for the DG's job includes President David Green, as well as succeeding Vice Presidents Sir Alan Cockshaw, Roger Sainsbury and Professor George Fleming. The declared intention is to have the new DG in place by May 1998, allowing a two month handover period. The job spec demands: 'Considerable experience at a senior level of successfully managing a major company, authority or institution.' Recruitment consultant PA Consulting is employed to hunt down possible candidates.
April: ICE Council is told that the recruitment timetable is slipping, but that an appointment is close. Dobson agrees to stay in the post until a replacement is found.
May: President Alan Cockshaw writes to members explaining that the ICE has twice narrowly failed to appoint a new DG. First a possible candidate was chosen from a shortlist put forward by PA. His 'imminent' appointment was scrapped when the selection committee had second thoughts. In mid-May a 'very strong candidate' withdrew from negotiations at the last minute. PA is replaced by another recruitment consultant, GKRS.
June: The job is re-advertised with a '£100,000 + benefits' package.
September: Mike Casebourne, the 52 year old managing director of GTRM, is announced as Dobson's replacement. Casebourne's title will be Chief Executive & Secretary.
March: Casebourne starts his new job.