Security firm G4S loses third UK boss in two years

LONDON Tue May 20, 2014 12:29pm EDT

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LONDON May 20 (Reuters) - The UK boss of the world's biggest security firm G4S has quit after just seven months in the job, the third executive to leave that position in a two year period marked by a series of scandals.

G4S's UK and Ireland chief executive Eddie Aston left at the end of last week, a spokesman for the FTSE 100 company said on Tuesday.

He has been replaced temporarily by regional outsourcing managing director Peter Neden, the spokesman said.

Aston's predecessor, Richard Morris, quit last year after a prisoner tagging scandal and David Taylor-Smith left following the company's shambolic handling of a contract for the 2012 London Olympics.

The tagging issue remains the subject of an investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office.

G4S declined to comment on why Aston, who was appointed to the role last October having joined the company from logistics company DHL a few months earlier, had left.

Since overhauling its practices, restructuring parts of management and paying 110 million pounds in fines to the government, G4S has been permitted to bid for new UK government work again after the tagging scandal resulted in a ban.

The company generates almost 10 percent of its 7.4 billion pound annual revenues from the UK government.

Shares in G4S closed 2 percent lower on Tuesday, underperforming the FTSE 100 index of blue-chip stocks.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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