The Business On: Roger Carr, Chairman, Centrica
Friday 10 December 2010
Didn't he resign?
Yes, but not from the Centrica job. Until earlier this year he was also chairman of Cadbury, where he fought a fierce but ultimatelyunsuccessful battle to prevent its takeover by Kraft. Once the Americans arrived, Mr Carr felt obliged to fall on his sword.
Has he enjoyed having a bit more free time?
Obviously not – Mr Carr may turn 64 in the week before Christmas, but he shows no sign of wanting a quieter life. The Confederation of British Industry has just unveiled him as its next president – assuming that its members back the appointment, which will be a formality, he will take over from the incumbent, Helen Alexander, next June.
Is he qualified for the job?
Eminently. He has had a long career in business, serving at executive level at a string of FTSE 100 companies. He made his name at Williams, where he worked alongside Sir Nigel Rudd, building what became one of Britain's biggest conglomerates. Sir Nigel got most of the credit for the Williams story, but Mr Carr was absolutely crucial to its success.
A business blue blood then?
Well he is these days, but it would be wrong to characterise Mr Carr as anything other than a self-made man. Who's Who lists his clubs as Brooks's and the Royal Automobile and he is a director of the Court of the Bank of England too. But Mr Carr has not always been such an establishment figure: he is the son of a car salesman who joined Boots as acomputer programmer after leaving Nottingham Polytechnic. A couple of jobs later he ended up as commercial director of a Midlands car parts maker called Ley's – when Williams bought it, a, his partnership with Sir Nigel began.
What's he like?
He keeps his emotions in check. Colleagues say he would make an excellent poker player. He's also a meritocrat. He's a founder member of the 30% Club, which has seencompany chairmen working towards increasing the number of women in the boardroom.
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