The chief executive of Royal Doulton, Wayne Nutbeen, is stepping down after a turbulent term at the company.
During the last decade it has been taken over by Wedgwood, and employee numbers have shrunk from some 4,000 to a handful.
Nutbeen has also overseen the closure of Doulton’s last Stoke-on-Trent factory, at Nile Street in Burslem, shut in 2005, and the transfer of production abroad.
Mike Wolfe, mayor of Stoke-on-Trent between 2002 and 2005, is reported in the local press, The Sentinel, as saying: “He didn’t seem to understand the necessary link between the quality of his brand’s reputation and North Staffordshire.
“Probably more than any other single individual he has caused the haemorrhaging of jobs from the pottery industry in this area and the loss of our cultural heritage.”
Wolfe also accused Nutbeen of selling historic Royal Doulton collections to the highest bidder.
“We tried to negotiate deals whereby the city council would have raised money to pay a huge sum for important pieces of our heritage we wanted to keep,” he said. “We never succeeded in getting either a sympathetic or businesslike response from the company under his leadership.”
In a statement this week Nutbeen said: “Having managed the integration of Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, and led the modernisation of the Royal Doulton brand, I am leaving the group in a substantially better position than when I started.”