I have two immediate reactions to the shock announcement that António Horta-Osório is temporarily stepping aside as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group because of stress. One is frivolous, one serious:
1) His predecessor – the eerily impassive Eric Daniels – must have the constitution of an ox, given that he led the big UK bank through the credit crunch, a controversial merger with HBOS and the 2008 government recapitalisation. (Mr Daniels is a smoker, which I suppose may have helped calm his nerves).
2) The rarity with which top executives admit to suffering stress must mean boards are underestimating the occurrence of stress-related illness at the top – with potentially dire consequences. Read more