Magazine article The Spectator

Fountains and Flagpoles, Websites and New Names -- the Message Comes through from Marconi

Magazine article The Spectator

Fountains and Flagpoles, Websites and New Names -- the Message Comes through from Marconi

Article excerpt

Fountains, flagpoles, fancy number-- plates for the chairman's car - these, said Bill Mackey, the liquidator, were symptoms of companies heading for trouble, and to his list we can now add the corporate website. Marconi's was a beauty. Three months ago Marconi the company wanted us to think of Marconi the man, and splashed out on a website described as a blend of Bauhaus and Constructivism. He was to stand for enterprise and determination and to be a totem of change. When Lord Weinstock reigned over it, this was the General Electric Company, famous for its cash-pile. His successors spent the money on transforming it into a telecoms company and chose a name to match. What the website did not say was that the order-book was about to collapse, and the share price with it. The Marconi message was that its senior managers needed new and better incentives. …

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