Weinstock: The Life and Times of Britain's Premier Industrialist

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9780006387459: Weinstock: The Life and Times of Britain's Premier Industrialist

The life and times of one of the most pivotal (and private) figures in Britain’s manufacturing industry throughout the political and economic upheavals of the last 30 years.

Knighted by a Labour government in 1970 and ennobled by Mrs Thatcher in 1980, Arnold Weinstock has achieved a consistent level of business success without rival in post-war Britain.

The authors, having closely followed his career for many years, give a clear-eyed assessment of the man who, as managing director of GEC from 1963 to 1996, steered the company through financial and industrial turbulence to make it one of Britain’s largest and most stable businesses of the post-Cold War era. Lord Weinstock has been at the centre of government and industrial relations throughout that time, dealing with both Labour and Tory governments at the highest levels.

Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe, both Guardian journalists, chart Weinstock’s progress from his childhood, as the son of an immigrant Polish-Jewish tailor, to Whitehall where he was in effect writing Cabinet papers in his early twenties, then to the property world and the electronics and defence industry. Here he pioneered the concept of the industrial conglomerate and the art of the hostile takeover. His devotion to manufacturing and excellence stands out as a beacon in an era in which Britain puts so much emphasis on the ephemeral.

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From the Back Cover:

Arnold Weinstock has been a pivotal (yet very private) figure in Britain's manufacturing industry over the last three decades. Knighted by a Labour government in 1970m and ennobled by Mrs Thatcher in 1980, he has achieved a consistent level of business success without rival I post-war Britain.

Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe, 'Guardian' journalists who have closely followed his career for many years, give their clear0eyed assessment of the man who, as managing director of GEC from 1963 to 1996, steered the company through financial and industrial businesses of the post-cold War era. Charting his progress from his childhood, as the son of an immigrant Polish-Jewish tailor, to Whitehall, the property world, and the electronics and defence industry, the authors explore what makes Weinstock tick. What are the origins of his ruthless dedication to efficiency, his drive for control, and his highly personalised style of management, exemplified by the famously no-nonsense 'Weinstock memoranda' in which he forcefully – sometimes ferociously – outlined his vies on managerial accountability? This riveting account sets his achievements – and his failures – in their rightful context.

Brummer and Cowe tell the story of the takeovers, the battles with governments, the missed chances and the taken chances, with a narrative pace which readers far beyond those interested in industrial history will find compelling
WILLIAM WALDEGRAVE, 'Daily Telegraph'

An excellent tale and essential reading for leaders of British industry
BUSINESS AGE

This first-class portrait sets in contexts Arnold Weinstock's fascinating rise from Stoke Newington orphan to industrial overlord . . . For other top managers, this is a cautionary tale
ROBERT HELLER, 'Management Today'

An admirable account of an extraordinary individual
AMBASSADOR

About the Author:

Alex Brummer & Roger Cowe are the authors of Hanson: A Biography (1994), one of the most successful business biographies of recent years. Alex Brummer is Financial Editor of the Guardian, where he writes a daily column. Roger Cowe is a prize-winning journalist and editor of The Guardian Guide to the UK’s Top Companies.

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Brummer, Alex; Cowe, Roger
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