Land Securities chief executive Francis Salway has been given an ultimatum to turn the struggling landlord around or face the sack, according to weekend newspaper reports.

Salway is understood to have been told by Land Securities chairwoman Alison Carnwath to come up with a new plan for the company within six months.

The reports also claims that Salway’s second in command Mike Hussey – who heads up the London portfolio - might also face the sack if the company is not successfully turned around.

The landlord has fallen behind rivals in the sector, reporting losses of £4.77 billion a fortnight ago after calling a £755 million rights issue in February.

Land Securities denied that Salway has been threatened with the sack, saying in a statement: “In our preliminary statement only two weeks ago, it was made clear that the executive team led by Francis had shown their mettle in the face of the formidable challenges facing the industry. Nothing has changed since then.”

The reports come after rumours about growing concerns among Land Securities non-executive board about the future of the company under the current executive team.

Among Land Securities’ non-executive directors is Marks & Spencer executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose.