Business Diary: Walsh's wings clipped by office
Saturday 12 March 2011
Life isn't always glamorous for the chief executives of our biggest companies.
We hear that Willie Walsh, the British Airways boss, has a new office now that he has moved upstairs to take charge of International Airlines Group, the holding company that has owned BA and Iberia since the airlines' merger. The good news is that it has panoramic views on two sides. Less happily, the views in question are of Runway One at Heathrow and a building that houses officials from Unite, the trade union with which Mr Walsh has spent much of the past two years fighting so bitterly.
Best to stay home in the lakes
Ping. An email arrives from the Lake District Tourist Association, detailing its latest efforts to drum up support from international markets. Specifically, six Lake District businesses are about to send representatives to one market they think might be an especially lucrative source of clients. Which one? Well, Japan, since you asked. Do you think they might want to wait a while before setting off on this sort of trade mission?
A new woman to take on Opec
Our congratulations to Maria van der Hoeven of the Netherlands. For those of you not familiar with Mrs van der Hoeven, she was until October the country's minister of economic affairs, where a good deal of her time was spent on energy policy. Yesterday she was unveiled as the new boss of the International Energy Agency, the oil industry body. That means she'll be spending the next four years pleading with Opec to produce enough oil to stave off a world recession. Maybe congratulations isn't quite the right word after all.
Bad joke powers share price fall
Memo to Rupert Soames, boss of Aggreko, the energy supply company – the stock market doesn't do humour. Aggreko had a fantastic year in 2010 thanks to a string of events for which it won contracts to supply temporary power, from the Vancouver Winter Olympics to the World Cup in South Africa. The problem this year is there aren't any big events to win similar business at. Soames told analysts that "we might get the tiddlywinks championship if we're lucky". Cue a 6 per cent slump in its shares.
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