Old companies may die, but old stock market indices ought to live for ever. Certainly, the longevity of the FT30 index, first published in 1935, suggests they can go on and on, even if their relevance ebbs and flows.
In fact, there could be no better moment to revive interest in the original benchmark of British stocks. Read more
When a Rolls-Royce engine on a Qantas jet blew up last November, the engine-maker and the airline joined Toyota and BP in a list of companies fighting to repair damage to their global reputations.
But the Rolls-Qantas incident was of a different order and degree from the Toyota car recall and the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion. The settlement announced on Wednesday seems to reflect that. Read more
Sony’s launch of its first tablet devices is bound to excite unflattering comparisons with revolutionary Sony products of the past – particularly because it falls in the same week as the death of Norio Ohga, the Japanese company’s former chairman and chief executive.
As every retrospective of Ohga’s extraordinary life has pointed out, he was the Sony executive who helped establish and drive the compact disc. By contrast, Sony’s “S1″ and “S2″ (their temporary names, thank goodness), already seem doomed to be mere “iPad rivals”. Read more
Sir John Parker’s arrival as chairman of Anglo American in 2009 may well have changed the miner’s destiny. He steadied the ship, stood in the way of a potential bid from rival Xstrata, and threw his weight behind chief executive Cynthia Carroll, who was under intense pressure. All this looks like evidence of the Northern Irishman’s legendary toughness. Except Sir John himself says he’s not tough.
In my latest Turning Points interview, he describes himself rather differently – as a believer in discipline (learnt on the family farm where he was brought up) prepared to be tough only where necessary. Read more
Having worked in Milan in the mid-1990s, I have a soft spot for Italy’s imprenditori – the enterprising corporate leaders, often company founders, who make up the backbone of the industrial economy. They must be ashamed of the way their government is stirring up protectionist sentiment against French takeovers of Italian companies like Bulgari. Read more
When it comes to his annual letter to General Electric’s shareowners, Jeff Immelt is no Warren Buffett. Not for him the jokey anecdotes and fables preferred by the Omaha billionaire in his own yearly communication. But the GE letter is still worth a read, if only because of the industrial group’s status as a training ground for future chief executives of global companies. Read more
Stephen Elop of Nokia surely wins the Lucy Kellaway prize for blunt speaking in a corporate memo when he warns that the Finnish company has a “burning platform”.
There are lots of things to admire in the memo in terms of clarity and the willingness of the new chief executive to spell out publicly exactly how dire Nokia’s crisis has become: Read more
The wave of suicides at the vast plant near Shenzhen owned by Foxconn, the Taiwan contract manufacturer, where 300,000 workers are employed, raises questions about the sustainability of China’s use of migrant workers from rural areas.
The FT was allowed unusual access inside the Foxconn plant in Longhua, which has in the past been kept out of view of reporters, and Kathrin Hille’s video interviews with Foxconn employees, as well as the company’s spokesman, are fascinating. Read more