MacLaurin could not collect the award - in the interests of equality to be renamed Business Leader of the Year in 1998 - in person because he is in New Zealand offering "moral support" to Mike Atherton's beleaguered cricketers. But in a videotaped message, he said his role had been "to put together a team of people, and I have been fortunate in being captain of a very good team".
His star began to rise at Tesco when, in 1977, he won a battle to abandon Green Shield Stamps. Ironically, he has recently seen Tesco's hugely successful loyalty card dubbed "electronic Green Shield Stamps". In between, MacLaurin is credited with having led the company away from its "pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap" image and into a head-to-head race with Sainsbury's for the middle-class shopper. Even when recession bit, he and his team were quick to respond - with smaller "Metro" stores, the Club Card and financial services. Roger TrappReuse content