20 years of British Bosses - in pictures

MT examined the many faces of leadership at an exclusive exhibition of chief exec portraits last night.

by Andrew Saunders
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2013
The great and the good of UK plc - plus a smattering of those who make their livings observing them in their natural habitat - gathered at London’s Whitechapel Gallery last night. The occasion? An exclusive viewing of a selection of the best of MT’s iconic chief executive portraits from the past two decades.
 
Corporate dignitaries including legendary ex-Tesco boss Terry Leahy and Unilever head honcho Paul Polman - as well as Haymarket founder Lord Heseltine - came together for the select event, sponsored by Accenture.
 
Displayed together for the first time outside the pages of MT, the portraits - including Richard Branson, ex-BP boss Lord Browne, General Sir Mike Jackson, Barbara Stocking of Oxfam and Charlie Mayfield of John Lewis - add up to a remarkable record of the nature of leadership in modern Britain.
 
They are also a testament to MT’s commitment to quality, and to documenting the corporate and organisational landscape with the care and respect it deserves. Harry Borden, who students of the art will recognise as one of the finest contemporary portrait photographers around, took most of the shots, ably backed up by MT’s own photographer Julian Dodd when Harry wasn’t available.  
 
Between them they have captured some of the strongest and most revealing images of the human face of leadership to be found anywhere. Borden’s shot of Todd Stitzer for example, shows the ex-Cadbury boss who lost out to Kraft in last year’s takeover battle in happier times, holding liquorice allsorts over his eyes. And his portrait of the late Sir John Harvey-Jones, boss of ICI turned TV Troubleshooter, marked the last hurrah of one of the post-war titans of British industry.  
 
Commenting on the rationale behind the exhibition, MT editor Matthew Gwyther said ‘MT has always been proud of its production values, and outstanding photography is a vital part of those values. Magazines are at their best when they marry words and pictures so well that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ 

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR GALLERY ONLINE, or HERE to see some pics from last night.

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