It's not often that the chairman and CEO of a $7 billion global operation walks out of a job expressing dissatisfaction with corporate life, with no immediate plants to return.
Such was the case when Barry Gibbons, 48, left the top job at Burger King late last year, having revived the fortunes of the ailing Florida-based fast food retailer in the five years since its takeover by GrandMet. Now he has resurfaced with an offbeat column in the Miami Herald, a part-time post at the University of Miami business school and a consultancy, Festina. The latter, which means 'make haste' - from the motto of his alma mater, Manchester's Audenshaw Grammar School - ably sums up his high-octane style.
His life in the US has not been without incident - Hurricane Andrew struck Florida in 1992. 'We were wiped out,' he says. 'People's lives were shattered.' But with hindsight, he continues, 'the really brave companies should create the effects of a hurricane without having to go through them.' It's a lesson which he uses in his frequent presentations on the US corporate speaking circuit. He denies any aspirations to gurudom, describing his ideas as 'basic, simple, commonsense stuff'. All the same, he muses, 'I've got some Irish in me. I suppose there's a bit of hyperbole there.'.