“I suspect Andy Hornby is a bit of an anathema to most entrepreneurs,” comments Mark Mason, chief executive of software development firm Mubaloo. “Here’s a man who has worked his way up the corporate ladder, jumping ship every three years or so, to a position he was clearly unqualified to hold and seemingly unable to live up to. While most entrepreneurs live or die by their ability to make their businesses profitable, Hornby was rewarded by taking risks which were serving neither his business nor his customers. And now, unbelievably, he has been rewarded again with a new role in another blue-chip organisation while many of his former employees are probably still out of work. What sort of role model does this give our young business people? How are we to rebuild a great business nation if failures are seen to succeed? It’s an utter joke.
“I’m sure Hornby has some great contacts and many memberships to the right clubs but I wonder how the employees of Boots will feel when their salaries are cut or roles lost when Hornby has to start cost-cutting to pay for his exorbitant salary? And, more importantly, I wonder how Boots’ customers will feel?”
Hiro Harjani, the founder of fashion chain Aftershock, is more forgiving: “I think Hornby will learn from his experience – at the cost of millions of pounds paid by taxpayers. He won’t make the same mistakes twice. Let’s remember that he wasn’t the only banker who screwed up.”
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