Inside Story/By Toady.
When times are hard, and sales and profits are down, where does British business look for inspiration? Not at home it seems. Companies as diverse as Laura Ashley, Saatchi, or Brel, the privatised train-builder, now re-named ABB Transportation, have all sought overseas saviours.
Laura Ashley, which had losses of £25 million in three years, went west. In came American Jim Maxmin. Was he tough? Within two weeks of landing he had fired 100 managers and started a "That's Dumb" campaign, giving £5 to any member of staff sufficiently untraumatised to be able to point out a wasteful practice.