The Business On... Simon Fox, Chief executive, HMV
Thursday 30 December 2010
Did he have a happy Christmas?
Let's hope so. HMV has yet to say how it traded during the festive period, but it badly needed some decent numbers – a tough year was capped earlier this month by the unveiling of record losses. They prompted warnings the company might not have a long-term future.
Are the rats deserting?
That's the good news – not yet, it would seem. In fact, yesterday, HMV gave its investors a belated Christmas present, revealing it has managed to persuade David Wolffe, a widely regarded executive at ITV Studios, to join it as finance director.
Mr Fox must be pleased?
Indeed, though he will no doubt be reflecting that a year is a long time in business. Only 12 months ago, Mr Fox was himself widely tipped as the next chief executive of ITV. That job went to Adam Crozier in the end, and HMV's boss is now pinching staff from the company he might have ended up running.
His star is waning then?
That's a little harsh. HMV operates in a tough market, competing head-on with the big online retailers and especially Amazon. The cold weather of the past month is exactly what it didn't need – why venture out to HMV to buy CDs, or its Waterstone's subsidiary to buy books, when you can do so from the warm comfort of your own home?
What's his plan?
So far it has been to build up the strength of the HMV brand and to diversify into new product areas. Mr Fox wants shareholders to give him time to work out which ventures will work best.
Does he deserve that time?
His record pre-HMV is impressive. He started out by founding the Office World chain, which he built into a £100m business, and then ran Comet, the electrical goods company, for a period, to general acclaim.
And what's on his iPod?
He says he likes a bit of Keane, but prefers books to music. So it's Waterstone's not HMV if you want to get him a gift.
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'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
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...
£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...