Nightmare: The Ernest Saunders Story

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9780091741013: Nightmare: The Ernest Saunders Story

In January 1986 Ernest Saunders was riding high as Chief Executive of Guinness plc. In five years he had transformed Guinness from a dying one-brand company into one of the world's top drinks businesses with an envied portfolio of brands. Over the same period profit had risen ninefold and the Guinness family's wealth had increased proportionately. A year later Saunders' world had collapsed. He was summarily dismissed by a group of directors, without compensation with the means to vindicate himself. Guinness then sued him and he was forced to sell the family home and spend all his savings in legal fees. Next he was arrested and put into jail. He was eventually to face over 40 criminal charges, ranging from fraud to theft. It was the most dramatic personal turn-around in fortunes in recent British commercial history. "Nightmare" charts Ernest Saunders' story from the arrival of his parents in the UK as refugees from Hitler's Austria. It tells how, in 1981, he joined Guinness as managing director and set about the daunting task of rebuilding the company. It follows the successful takeovers of Bell's and Distillers.

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