CAUSE for former BP boss Tony Hayward to take comfort from the old adage, “all news is good news” – if he can. Data from media analysis firm Sweet & Maxwell reveals that he was the most high profile FTSE 100 chief executive in the last year.
The beleaguered Hayward, who was banished from BP to Siberia in July, was mentioned in 1,931 pieces of press coverage between September 2009 and September this year – and it wasn’t to compliment his choice of tie. To put that in perspective, Hayward’s numbers compare to an average mention count of just 151 for his FTSE 100 peers.
But who else can claim the lucky accolade of such fame? British Airways’ Willie Walsh comes in second at 1,560 after spending much of the year locked in trade disputes with the Unite union.
In at third place is outgoing Marks and Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose with 1,223 pieces of coverage. And Rose was no doubt happier with his placing than famously media-shy Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester, whom he beat by one place. Hester bagged runner-up position last year to Sir Fred Goodwin, but this year, he dropped to fourth with only 1,082 pieces of coverage.
But if Stephen is missing the limelight there’s an easy solution: crack out his old hunting coat and tails outfit, the subject of a much-reprinted photo.
Aside from depressed high street retailers, there was another victim of the past week’s weather shenanigans: Better Capital chairman Jon Moulton. Having planned a quick trip up to Edinburgh yesterday to check up on an investment and give a talk at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, he found himself facing airport closures.
Particularly unfortunate given the intriguing title of his speech, to tackle the topic of government: “Cuts, Scratches and Wounds”. The coalition had better beware.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Capitalist has learned that, like his one-time political master Lord Mandelson, loyal Labour servant Dan Corry will shortly be back in business, taking up a position in the New Year with the consultancy firm FTI. Corry, who spent the last three years working on policy and economics in Downing Street and whose former bosses include ex-Cabinet ministers Stephen Byers, Margaret Beckett and Ruth Kelly, will be working lower down the hierarchy than former government economist Vicky Pryce (also the estranged wife of environment secretary Chris Huhne). But surely politicos are used to catching up on their time in government over the next office’s water cooler? It’s a small world, after all.
Another reason to hire more women. Research firm Equiniti says its research shows that women are more loyal to their employers than men. The research found that 83 per cent of women asked would call themselves either somewhat or very loyal to their workplace versus 72 per cent for men. And, contrary to expectations, those below aged 30 are just as loyal as their older peers: one in four fit into the somewhat or very loyal category, the same proportion as for over-60s.
As for how to tackle those disloyal middle-aged men, you could try an employee share plan programme – letting them buy shares at a discount. But the figures show that share plans actually work better with women: loyalty improves by threefold more among women offered shares than among men. It seems female stock is rising.