THE ANDREW DAVIDSON INTERVIEW - JOHN BROWNE - You can't duck the limelight when shaping the kind of merger that puts your company among the leaders in the global oil industry. So it is little wonder that the surprisingly sensitive chief executive of BP Amoco has emerged as Britain's most admired business leader.
The most admired boss in Britain is a very short, meticulous man who looks like a dark version of Sir Ian McKellen and speaks in the gruff, slightly plummy tones of an old-fashioned Oxbridge don. He lays his leather cigar case out on the table in front of us, then his cigar cutter, then his gold lighter and then a fourth container, sweeteners maybe, for the black coffee he orders. The gold lighter flares as he lights up a small cigar. His large, intricate gold filigree cuff links, the only sign of ostentation on his person, glint as he stirs the cup. Then he begins.