Thursday, 19 November 2009

Every title helps

I see that Tesco boss, Sir Terry Leahy, has become the latest businessman to accept an Honorary Degree - a pointless bauble that's either a) the height of vanity to accept or b) a shameless begging letter if you dole them out.
The retailer has been "honoured" by the University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield Poly as was) with a gong he can now add to the other honorary award he has from Cranfield University (formerly Cranfield Institute of Technology) - plus the 2:1 in management science he obtained from UMIST in 1977 when he actually had to pass a couple of exams.
This latest degree means Sir Terry joins a growing club of business knights who are rather partial to collecting these trinkets. Among their number is the great Sir Derek Wanless - who loves publicising awards from former Polytechnics yet doesn't like talking much about his time as head of Northern Rock's risk committee.
Why do these people do it?

1 comment:

diogenes said...

You are so right about Sir Derek Wanless. He will travel the length and breadth of the UK to pick up a shiny bauble from any obscure ex-polytechnic, that is prepared to unctuously fawn over any business nob with a title. Like some establishment vampire, these worthless trinkets feed the insatiable appetite of his hubris. As for Northern Rock, you appear right again. The name never passes his lips, and he has removed all reference from his various biographies. He's just the type to produce a dodgy CV to impress his employer ! Of course, it was also Wanless who was ousted from Natwest in 1999. His failed strategies at NatWest brought the once mighty bank to its knees. Along came Fred Goodwin to gobble it up. Who knows - without the 'Wanless factor' we may still have a thriving NatWest and Northern Rock ? Not a bad legacy for a man who has not uttered a single word of mea culpa, and only ventures from his dark bolt hole for another trinket 'fix', from a sycophantic polytechnic who clearly should know better !