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Shares in engineering firm GKN fell over 6 percent on Thursday, after it was announced that incoming chief executive Kevin Cummings would leave the board and company immediately.

Cummings, who was set to take over from current CEO Nigel Stein in January, will leave his position at GKN today. No further information on the decision was given, but it came alongside the news of a writedown at its North American aerospace division, which was run by Cummings, prompting speculation over his ability to head the company.

“The GKN board has concluded that the next stage of GKN’s development is best delivered under alternative leadership,” the company said. Non-executive director Anne Stevens will become interim chief executive from January.

The company has been facing difficulties at its Alabama factory, taking a £15 million charge after revising down the value of inventory which led to the issuance of a profit warning last month.

GKN shares fell 9 percent at market open, before recovering slightly to trade down 5.63 percent at 294.20 (1443GMT).

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