THE joint chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen has been given a five-month leave of absence from his board position at Swiss mining giant Glencore to enable him to focus on his duties as deputy chairman of Sky.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange, Glencore said that “owing to his current commitment as deputy chairman of Sky plc in respect of its protracted competitive bid situation”, Mr Gilbert would be relieved of board duties until mid-October.

Read more: Mining role for Aberdeen chief

Sky is currently the subject of a bidding war, with media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox – which itself is the subject of a takeover by Disney – offering just over £10 a share for the company while rival Comcast has offered £12.50 per share.

The Disney-Fox deal is currently being scrutinised by US regulators while in the UK both the Competition and Markets Authority and the Takeover Panel have been involved in Fox’s bid for Sky.

Patrice Merrin, who became the first female ever to sit on Glencore’s board when she was appointed in 2014, will replace Mr Gilbert on the company’s audit and remuneration committees during his absence.

Mr Gilbert has served on Sky’s board since 2011 and was appointed as a non-executive director of Glencore in 2017. He is also chairman of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s practitioner panel.