Bunhill: On top
Sunday 13 February 1994
Thompson's job will be to restore the image of the group's Ernest Jones, H Samuel and Ratners shops in the wake of Gerald Ratner's unfortunate jokes. (For readers from another planet Ratner infamously disparaged one of his own products, a sherry decanter set, as 'total crap').
'For a marketing person I can't think of a better challenge,' she tells me. 'It's very sad that a comment like that can do as much damage as it did. It's the sort of thing the media won't let go. My job is to stop the rot.'
Thompson, 43, divorced with a 9 1/2 -year-old daughter and live-in housekeeper, is not your typical marketing smoothie. Born and raised in Batley, West Yorkshire, she only recently made it to the soft south. She has marketed petfood for the Co-op, wallpaper for ICI and wood varnish for Sterling Roncraft. She spent the early 1980s as a lecturer at Manchester Poly, simultaneously setting up an advertising agency, Thompson Maud Jones. She later sold out to her two partners. Before Woolies, she was MD of the British arm of Sandvik Saws & Tools.
She reckons being a woman in business is a positive advantage once you get to the top: 'People automatically assume you must be good to have got there,' she says, happily recalling a tool industry lunch at the Savoy - '299 men and me'.
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Huxley Associates are looking...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Computer Futures has been est...
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Job Title: Business Analyst Rate: £300 - £350 per...