UK: THE DAVIDSON INTERVIEW - BILL COCKBURN.

UK: THE DAVIDSON INTERVIEW - BILL COCKBURN. - Like the new broom that he is expected to be, the 'action-oriented' boss of W H Smith appears to be pushing all the correct buttons and saying all the right things. What he needs now, says Andrew Davidson, ar

Like the new broom that he is expected to be, the 'action-oriented' boss of W H Smith appears to be pushing all the correct buttons and saying all the right things. What he needs now, says Andrew Davidson, are results to back up the words.

The easy-going charm is what you notice first. Come in, says Bill Cockburn, would you like to sit here, or there? He has coffee, he has tea, he has a beautiful view of the side of St Etheldreda's church through the blinds in his second-floor Holborn office. He notes my tie, a Davidson tartan, he quickly searches for mutual points of contact - Scottishness, Edinburgh, where he was brought up - and builds on them, warm and relaxed, with good eye contact and positive gestures. You have to be careful: you can stretch out and relax in a Bill Cockburn interview, like soaking in a warm bath. Blink, and two hours will have flashed by.

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