In sickness and in wealth

There is something splendidly Gallic and irascible about Jean-Pierre Garnier, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline. Last year when he was caught up in one of the worst fat-cat pay rows in living memory, he blithely told critics that 'I am not Mother Teresa'. For him, there was no indulging in PR-embroidered hair shirtery. I bet his corporate affairs minders in London and Philadelphia wished the ground would open up and swallow them when they heard him utter that immortal line.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The funny thing is that, looked at from an idealistic point of view, GSK ought to be Mother Teresa. You could argue that the company has done far more good in the world than the Albanian nun ever did. The only difference is that the pharmaceutical firm makes money out of its mission. That's its 'sin' - and JP's $18 million pay and options package did look especially juicy.

But in a world where C-list nonentity Kerry McFadden is due to earn £2 million-plus from winning I'm a Celebrity ... how much would you pay a boss of a company that was successful - as GSK hopes to be - in ridding the world of malaria? This sickness kills two million people a year, and a child dies from it every 30 seconds. You can be cynical about JP and the global drugs industry, but without them there's precious little you, I or Mrs McFadden can do to reduce this toll.

From global disease to Charlton Athletic. (MT brings you everything.) Ian Wylie's piece about football manager Alan Curbishley shows how simple, virtuous stewardship and proper planning can lead to success in a game that has woefully lacked these qualities in recent years. Charlton is the management polar opposite of Leeds United, and by performing a straightforward analysis of resources against results, our author shows how 'Curbs' tops the MT table of Most Effective Premiership managers. This may be the only trophy he'll win this season, however. Having sold their star player - and between Wylie delivering his copy and the magazine going to press - the Addicks lost three games on the trot.

Talking of loss, you'll notice that MT's cavemanager John Weak no longer struts around the back end of the magazine. Weak's was a long, rich innings at Smokehouse. For all those who have written in enquiring about his welfare, he is as well as can be expected for someone with a 375ml glass of red perennially in his hand, misanthropy in his heart and a P45 in his pocket.

His replacement, starting with this issue, is a series of profane profiles that we have called MT Business Lifeforms. We hope you take this new feature to your hearts as you embraced that old reprobate Weak.

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