People & Business

It seems that Sam Chisholm, the so-called "bruiser of the box", is looking forward to taking a back seat at BSkyB. So much so that, according to some of BSkyB's institutional investors, he is expected to step down a month and a half earlier than planned. Mr Chisholm, whose confrontational management style has made him a legend within the industry, is preparing to bow out at the annual general meeting in a week's time. He had been braced to hang on until the new year.

The way will now be left clear for Mark Booth, the chief executive-in- waiting, to seize the reins and make his mark on the company. He had formerly been chief operating officer of Rupert Murdoch's JSkyB for just six months before he was thrust into the hot-seat at BSkyB. Although a relative unknown in the UK, Mr Booth is already beginning to make his views on BSkyB's future known.

Sources tell me he is keen to boost the company's programming expertise and may even consider investing in independent production companies.

However, Mr Chisholm, who announced in June that he was to step down due to poor health, is going to be keeping a close eye on the company's progress. He, like his deputy, David Chance, who is also quitting at the end of the year, will remain as "consultants". And, judging by Mr Chisholm's propensity to make his views widely known, Mr Booth is unlikely to be short of advice.

For someone who jokes that he is "way past my sell-by date", Tom Vyner, current deputy chairman and former chief executive of Sainsbury's, has plenty planned for his twilight years. Mr Vyner is scheduled to retire from the company he loyally describes as "the UK's best retailer" next January after 20 years of service.

Not content with supping pints at West Country brewer Ushers, of which he is chairman, as well as learning about cosmetics courtesy of L'Oreal UK, which yesterday announced his appointment as vice chairman, Mr Vyner also hopes to spend some time on his boat, Miss Poppy.

The origin of the boat's name, it seems, is not some dear old aunt, as one might imagine, but rather an ancient TV series. "You see, it's because it's registered with Lloyds," confided Mr Vyner yesterday, "and you have to have a unique name. My wife and I went through 50 or 60 names, with no success." But Mrs Vyner finally saved the day with Miss Poppy, the name of a "lovely lady" she had been watching on TV.

The plans don't stop there for the energetic Mr Vyner. The animal-loving ex-Sainsbury's chief is on the fund-raising committee for the Blue Cross's centenary appeal. The charity, known as "the Red Cross of the animal kingdom", wants to raise pounds 500m for its animal hospital, based in Victoria. "It's a lovely charity," said Mr Vyner, who is also on the Blue Cross's governing committee. Perhaps the man once dubbed the "rottweiler of Stamford Street" for his aggressive buying techniques really is a puppy dog, after all.

The ambition of Perween Warsi, the 1996 Woman Entrepreneur of the World, used to be to have her Indian cuisine "in every household in the UK". But Mrs Warsi, whose business, S&A Foods, is a major supplier of ready- made Indian meals to Safeway and Asda, must have more or less reached that goal by now.

Not being one to rest one her laurels, Mrs Warsi, who began by selling home-made samosas to a local deli in Derby, now wants to see her food "in every household in the world", according to a spokesperson. Given the news last week that her firm has secured a lucrative contract with British Airways, it shouldn't be too long before Mrs Warsi outgrows that ambition too.

Since the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, many in the media have faced sharp criticism for the use of "cheque-book journalism", or the phenomenon of paying an interviewee for their time and information. Politically, of course, it is the left which has been most vociferous in pursuing this cause. So how strange it seems to find that one major political figure who insists on this old-fashioned practice is none other than the Red Baroness, Barbara Castle.

In a bravura performance at last year's Labour Party conference, it was the Baroness who boldly attacked Gordon Brown and Tony Blair for failing to mention pensioners in their electoral programme.

She led a siren call for pensions to be updated in line with earnings, not inflation. Surely the nation should know more about her views? Well, if you want to interview the Baroness, resplendent in her Parliamentary pension and her life peer's allowances, be warned that she demands a fee.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn