David Jones, Next - Chairman and former CEO of the retail clothing chain


was to leave Great Universal Stores in 1980. It was a private type of public company - far too insular. A headhunter called just after chairman Leonard Wolfson gave me a 5% pay rise, when 17% had been agreed with the union for others. He really screwed me down. I resigned to become CEO of Grattan, and my salary doubled. My second-best decision was getting Next to buy Grattan in 1986, because it enabled us to launch the Next Directory. Catalogues were a dying breed, and I had to take Grattan into the high street.

Another good decision was hiring Simon Wolfson at Next. I had total confidence in his ability and it never once worried me that he was so young. After all, I had been young and talented once - I'd made CEO by the age of 33.

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