It is understood that Professor Kay fell out with the university authorities over decision making within the new school. As one observer put it: "It was business culture versus the dreaming spires."
The ground-breaking ceremony for the school, being built with a pounds 20m donation from Saudi businessman Wafic Said, was held just a month ago. Professor Kay had been lured last year from London Economics, which he used to chair, to help establish the new school. Professor Kay's departure will come as a blow to the university, which has looked on enviously at Cambridge University's success with its own Judge Management School.
The Said Business School had already suffered controversy, first because the money came from an international businessman, and second because it was to be built on a playing field in the centre of Oxford. Construction work was relocated to the car park of Oxford's railway station, on the edge of town.
Professor Kay intends to return to London Economics to write a book on the social consequences of financial markets.
Anthony Hopwood, theSchool's finance director, will step in as Professor Kay's replacement for the time being.
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