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John Cridland to be CBI director general

Cridland beats 44 candidates to the top business post.

Deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), John Cridland, has been named the group's director general, concluding three and a half months of net-casting and review by the selection panel of executive search firm Saxton Bampfylde.

Cridland, who beat 44 candidates for the job, will assume charge of CBI at the end of January next year after present director Richard Lambert - who headed the confederation for five years - steps down.

The deputy director general said he was taking up the position at a "critical" time for business in the UK.

"No one thinks that securing the UK's economic future will be easy, but business people across the country are rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job," Cridland added.

Former CBI director general Lord Jones welcomed the appointment, saying Cridland's "knowledge, experience, popularity, contacts and prodigious hard work and application to the task will make an enormous contribution to the country in the hard years ahead."