Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Sir Rod Eddington - If I Had to Start Again

Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Sir Rod Eddington - If I Had to Start Again

Article excerpt

Knowing what I know about aviation and how tough it is, I'd have to doubt my sanity if I said yes to having a career in it again. But I've enjoyed every minute of it, so I wouldn't necessarily do it any differently. I was an academic before I got into business, so I made a conscious decision to make the move and I've never regretted that. Anyway, you can't live your life looking in the rear-view mirror.

Aviation is a complicated, dynamic, scary game in many ways. Economically, airlines have a history of destroying shareholder value rather than creating it, and that's because the business is too fragmented and over-regulated - but it is a fascinating industry. The 9/11 terrorist outrage was a seminal moment for British Airways, and as I was chief executive, it was a seminal moment for me. That was the most challenging time of my career.

Surviving 9/11 as an organisation has probably been the greatest challenge. People thought that after that, we'd be broke - pounds 6 billion of debt on our balance sheet and losing pounds 1 million to pounds 2 million a day. …

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