As an avid reader of company reports I have recently been struck by the number of photographs that appear of directors in their shirtsleeves. It used to be that executives would line up in sober suits, or be pictured, suited, around a boardroom table. Advertising agencies could get away with being a bit more daring but manufacturing and other companies seemed to think that suits and ties were expected of executives.
Now, a whole host of companies, including Premier Consolidated Oilfields, Cray Electronics (chairman Sir Peter Michael) and Unigate, feature jacketless executives. Berisford shows a chief executive, Alan Bowkett, sans jacket, sitting at a table next to a jacket-wearing chairman. The trend-setters do, however, retain their ties. Bearing in mind the phenomenal success of tie-less people such as Bill Gates, founder and chief executive of Microsoft, when will British executives really break free?