Bob Newton, Norwich Union's director of corporate partnerships has decided to step down from the senior post less than four months after he was appointed.

The decision was announced to Norwich Union's corporate trading partners and staff at the insurer's Perth office on Tuesday.

A company email said Newton no longer wanted to remain in the role for personal reasons, even though he was only appointed on April 5.

A spokeswoman for Norwich Union denied Newton had clashed with his boss, managing director, Patrick Snowball.

Newton will formally relinquish his role in January 2001. Until then, he will assume responsibility for issues of corporate governance such as ensuring Norwich Union complies with the General Insurance Standards Council's rulebook.

He began his career with the former CGU in 1971 and before his appointment as director of corporate partnerships was deputy to Cees Schrauwers at CGU.

Derek Plummer, currently Norwich Union's marketing director, has been chosen to succeed Newton on a temporary basis until December 2000.

CGU managers have claimed four out of seven senior directorships responsible for managing CGNU's intermediary insurance business.

The managers will report directly to Ken Wallace, CGNU intermediary business manager, who in turn answers to managing director, Patrick Snowball.

The four CGU managers and their roles are: George Bernie, regional business director for the north of England; Tom Doherty, director of national broker business; David Bruce, director of national account business and Tim Rolfe, director of intermediary underwriting.

The other directorships have gone to Norwich Union managers. They are Derek MacKenzie whose new role is regional business director for the south of England, Paul Brierley, who becomes telephone account manager and Richard Cole who is the new head of intermediary support.