Magazine article Management Today

In the Steps of Sir John

Magazine article Management Today

In the Steps of Sir John

Article excerpt

There are those in business who have always maintained that Sir John Harvey-Jones was God, to whom the revelations contained in this article will come as no surprise. The rest of us must simply reconcile ourselves to a deity who wears a Rumpole moustache and kipper ties: for, verily, the Jones works in mysterious ways.

Exactly two years ago the BBC began to broadcast Troubleshooter, in which Our Jones walked among unbelievers, spreading the Word. Of the six companies to whom Our Jones offered salvation, three took His advice with glad heart, and were saved. When He advised the Apricot computer company to stop making hardware, they cried |Yea, verily', and stopped. Four days later, Apricot hived off its hardware business to the Japanese for 39[pounds] million, reverted to its old name of ACT and concentrated on software. In the year ended March 1991, the company's shares outperformed the stock market by 27%; profits were the best in its 27-year history. Likewise, when Our Jones told the small, family-owned, Suffolk fruit juice company, Copella, to give up its juice and follow Him, they paused not before selling out handsomely to Taunton Cider. And when Our Jones commanded the brother owners of Stoke-based Churchill Tableware to quadruple their design-spend and delegate executive responsibility, Churchill's profits rose from 400,000[pounds] to 2 million [pounds] in 12 months. …

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