The Business On... Javed Ahmed, Tate & Lyle
Friday 02 July 2010
So Javed Ahmed's no sweetie?
Now then, don't be mean. But it's true that he has sold Lyle's Golden Syrup – by some reckonings the world's oldest brand – along with most of Tate & Lyle's historic sugar business to American Sugar Refining for about £200m. It's an end to 130 years of tradition and possibly an end to a fair few jobs at the company's sugar refining business in the East End.
Tate & Lyle without sugar?
We know. It seems like bread without butter, or the high street without Woolworths, but it's not exactly unexpected. Mr Ahmed wants to focus on the higher margin ingredients business, which isn't as susceptible to the fluctuations on the commodity markets that have previously plagued the company.
Now, then. That's business, and the problem with Tate & Lyle is that it hasn't been very good at business. The performance over the last few years has been poor and Mr Ahmed was brought in to rectify that. This is another step in achieving that aim.
Can he do it?
Well he's 49, an American, and by reputation he's the sort of executive who appears to have had several glucose injections. He was highly rated at Reckitt Benckiser, a company which has done rather better for its shareholders than Tate's.
What else has he been up to?
At Tate? Putting a rocket under a lot of people, apparently. Employees have found that their pay has been much more closely aligned to performance. If they fail to shape up, they run the risk of losing a good chunk of it. Prior to Benckiser he spent five years with Bain & Co, working in both London and Boston, and got his MBA from Stanford.
Yes. It's said that he has very much energised the business and trained its focus on doing better for customers. That's still something of a rarity in British companies, so you never know, maybe he will turn a rather sour investment into a sugar-filled sweetie. But there'll be a few more eggs broken along the way.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...