Cable and Wireless

Andrew Hill

My favourite bon mot from Richard Rumelt, the UCLA strategy expert whose interview fuelled my column this week, was his comment that in any boardroom discussion of strategic options, acquisitions should be “guilty until proven innocent”.

Prof Rumelt’s new book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy makes clear he is no fan of M&A. “The problem with engineering growth by acquisition,” he writes, “is that when you buy a company, especially a public company, you usually pay too much.” Read more