MT's week in 60 Seconds

The business highlights this week: bad news for builders, a rocket for Rose, and the crisp that wasn't.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

This week’s doom and gloom has largely come from the housebuilders, who haven’t had it this bad since the last time Noah jumped on a boat. With the housing market continuing to slide, all the big builders are feeling the pain – Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Barratt, Redrow and Bovis have all announced massive job cuts. With the Bank of England again refusing to cut interest rates because of inflation worries, pessimism levels have been rising – and a British Chamber of Commerce report warning that the UK is at ‘serious risk of recession’ didn’t exactly help matters…

Elsewhere Sir Stuart Rose suffered trial by shareholder at M&S’s AGM in London, where he faced a barrage of criticism about the retailer’s wretched recent showing and his own promotion to executive chairman. But it looks like he’ll survive – just. Other corporate superpowers who’ve had a tough week include Sir Martin Sorrell, as GfK try to upset his plans to buy TNS; while EADS saw its US defence contract cancelled after the authorities realised they weren’t American enough. And the in-fighting continued at Anheuser-Busch, in its attempts to fend off InBev (although reports today suggest they’ve had a change of heart).

But of course we much prefer to celebrate happy news stories – and there were some people celebrating this week. For instance, P&G suits were jumping for joy after Pringles were officially ruled not to be a crisp (it confused us, too), while the BBC’s top brass were laughing all the way to the bank after sharing huge pay rises. And what’s more, supercar drivers won’t have to pay a bigger congestion charge after all, which we’re sure you’ll agree is excellent news.

Here at MT Towers we’ve been busy this week with '35 Women Under 35', our annual celebration of the rising female stars of UK plc. This year, the publication of the list has attracted plenty of publicity, with last week’s Sunday Times story sparking a series of follow-ups in the press – on Monday the Today programme was even debating the merits of our glamorously-styled photo shoot (which we thought was a bit miserable of them, but there you go). But the shoot also provided a good excuse for the first ever appearance of MT-TV (watch out for more of this in the coming months), while every day this week we’ve been taking a closer look at some of the remarkable entrepreneurs and corporate women on our list.

Next week we’re keeping up the multimedia theme with our first ever Leadership Week, in association with IBM: five exclusive podcast interviews with top leaders from right across the management spectrum. All of them will be telling us what it takes to lead at a time when doom and gloom is rarely far from the headlines...


In today's bulletin:
Primark flags - but still trounces M&S
'35 Women Under 35' party the night away 
AMEC wins £7bn Sellafield clean-up job
MT's week in 60 Seconds
Lessons in training, from YouTube 

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