Five months after shocking the business world with the announcement of his retirement, Sir James Goldsmith was greeting old friends in Davos. Sir James, who now devotes his energies to saving the environment, flew in on his private plane for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
He looked relaxed. And it was hard to reconcile his soft-spoken good manners with the ruthless determination of his business career. But is he missing the business world? "Not particularly," came the reply. And what about converting his former CEO colleagues to the green gospel? Again a no. "I'm given too high a profile," he says modestly. "I'm not personally active except in one or two projects."
Indeed, the former corporate raider would not be drawn on any specifics, even by questioners more illustrious than Management Today. In the plenary session which he addressed, Sir James discreetly avoided the question (conveyed by no less a person than the Aga Khan) about which British companies he rated in environmental terms. Does this mean that there aren't any, or was Sir James merely worried about upsetting old friends?