Man with gift for the big picture
Wednesday 25 October 1995
Leaving that job after three years in 1991, he seemed set for an even more glittering career as chief executive of Mercury Communications, the phone arm of Cable & Wireless. He was perceived to have vision; a background in management consultancy and systems, and his ability to apply technology to mass market financial services made him a hot property. But he was ousted from his post at Mercury last year and moved sideways to a development job, apparently after falling foul of Lord Young, chairman of Cable & Wireless.
Still only 46, Mr Harris is regarded as a popular figure. One Mercury insider said yesterday: "He was very well-liked ... he was good at the big picture, a visionary." He introduced the "Imagine Programme" at Mercury, which encouraged management and staff to stop thinking of the company as a telephone utility and rather as a vehicle for new ideas and products.
A chemistry graduate from University College, London, his first information technology job was with CAP (now the Sema Group) in 1970. He then moved to Midland Bank's management services for 14 years, and then to PA Consultants for a three-year stint in management consultancy.
During his three years with Mercury, the UK's second- largest telecommunications company, profits more than doubled to pounds 219m.
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...