Magazine article Management Today

Twenty Years of British Bosses

Magazine article Management Today

Twenty Years of British Bosses

Article excerpt

The chances are almost any household name from British business has been photographed by MT's Harry Borden and Julian Dodd.

Here we look back at the larger than life corporate chiefs at the centre of two decades of takeovers and scandals and fortunes made and lost. The portraits formed part of a retrospective at London's Whitechapel Gallery late last month, to mark the occasion of 20 years of MT's Britain's Most Admired Leader Awards.

LORD BROWNE, 1999

How the mighty fall. Fresh from the dollars 57bn merger of BP and Amoco, the then John Browne is pictured at his career zenith, set to acquire the monicker 'Sun King' and a peerage to boot. But he quit, disgraced, in 2007 - although he authored last year's Browne review into higher education.

TODD STITZER, 2004

Harking back to happier days as CEO of Cadbury-Schweppes, Stitzer liked this shot so much he bought copies for friends. But times have changed since he lost the infamous takeover battle with Kraft last year. 'I am richer at the bank but sadder in my heart,' he has said.

JAMES MURDOCH, 2007

Now boss of News Corp's entire Europe and Asia business, clean-cut Murdoch Jr was running 'only' BSkyB when MT took this shot. He is heir apparent to Rupert's empire, unless the News of the World phone hacking scandal dents his prospects.

SIR PHILIP GREEN, 2005

The chairman of BHS began work at 16 and is a UK retailing titan Rebuffed twice by M&S but still worth an estimated pounds 4.1bn, the combative Green is currently battling a sickly British high street on one flank and the guerrilla tactics of tax agitators UK Uncut on the other.

SIR JOHN HARVEY-JONES, 2006

In the last big interview before his death in 2008, aged 83, former ICI chairman and Bafta-winning TV troubleshooter explained - in typical style - his dim view of The Apprentice's Alan Sugar. 'I never liked Alan, I thought he was a bully,' he said. 'I watch his programme with horror.'

TONY PIDGLEY, 2003

Adopted by gypsies and brought up in a disused railway carriage, Pidgley is the UK's most successful and Most Admired housing developer. Dominating the Thames river banks, his blocks of flats are rarely things of beauty, but Pidgley knows the margin on every last one-bedroomed apartment.

SIR STUART ROSE, 2001

Recently retired from the top job at M&S, Rose is an eminence grise of British retailing. The author of eco-strategy Plan A also worked at Burton group, Arcadia and Booker. He often had staff queuing for his autograph when he made a site visit - making him something of a rarity among CEOs.

VICTOR CHANDLER, 2008

Holed up in his Gibraltar lair, Chandler is the godfather of British gambling. His once trackside business is now all online and turns over pounds 1bn a year. …

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