Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Paul Walsh, CEO of Diageo

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Paul Walsh, CEO of Diageo

Article excerpt

When I was a kid I wanted to join the RAF and fly fast planes.

I actually got pretty advanced through the process but my eyesight wasn't good enough to fly jets.

My maths teacher was my hero. He was an outstanding teacher and he saw I had a bit of ability in maths and allowed me to pursue it. I used to take him out for lunch every year.

Letting people go doesn't get any easier with time. And it's not just redundancy: the other thing that's really tough is when you've got to sit down with people who are trying their hardest but they're just not cutting it, they can't put those scores on the doors.

I generally visit factories that are closing. You can't always shield them from the reality of the economic situation - closing the Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock is a good example of that.

I wish I'd sold Burger King earlier. With Pillsbury going, I was concerned we didn't have the capacity to handle both transactions at the same time. But I should have done them simultaneously. …

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