Business Diary: Hornby's latest roll of the dice

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The Independent Online

Everyone deserves a second chance. So those who have raised eyebrows at the news that Andy Hornby, the man in charge at HBOS when the bank hit the credit crunch buffers, has been appointed to run the bookmaker Coral, should bite their tongues. In any case, Hornby, who stood down from a stint at Alliance Boots earlier this year, knows a thing or two about gambling. OK, so the bets HBOS made didn't quite come off, but they were of an order of magnitude that Coral will never have to face.

Autonomy pulls a fast one

Once a stock market darling, Autonomy hasn't had the easiest time in the City over the past year, so the email it dispatched yesterday, changing the date of its next earnings statement, due a week tomorrow, might have been seen as a peace offering. "We have moved the date as it is such a busy day in the sector with Cap Gemini, Dassault Systems and Promethean World all reporting," it said. "Hope this makes your life easier." How nice. Just one problem – Autonomy's numbers are now due on Wednesday, at the same time as results from SAP, the giant technology company, as well as at least three others in the sector. Not so helpful after all.

Feeling more poorly at UKFI

Have the former City types at UK Financial Investments been picking up bad habits now they are working for the public sector? Last year, UKFI staff took an average of 8.4 days of sick leave – high compared to the private sector and its own record of just 2.5 days the year before. The explanation in the annual report was that there were "three instances of long-term absence" which bumped up the figure, especially as UKFI only employs 13 people. The report also revealed that "there have been no personal data related incidents in the year", which in the current climate is at least reassuring.

No way to treat the President

Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino billionaire, has been making a few headlines with his latest tirades against President Obama. Still, while we know he was cross, we trust CNBC's take on the story, "Steve Wynn unloads on President Obama during conference call", gained something in translation.