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Tuesday, July 21, 1998 Published at 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK


Curriculum vitae: Sir Clive Thompson

[ image:  ]
Sir Clive Thompson


New President of the CBI

Also known as:

Mr 20% (by city watchers, referring to his ambitious company growth targets)
That Unreconstructed Thatcherite (by trade unionists, referring to his position on labour relations and the minimum wage)

Previous experience:
Chief executive of Rentokil Initial, leading to it being voted Britain's most admired company. It now employs 140,000 and is worth 12bn.

Prepared to do things His Way:
Surprised the rest of the CBI at its annual dinner in May by giving a speech of which Lady Thatcher would have wholeheartedly approved. It was not, to say the least, in line with CBI policy. A CBI spokesman later said Sir Clive was talking "off the cuff".

Really not scared at all to do things His Way:
After years of frosty relations between Industry and the Labour Party, the two have now made friends. Building on that blossoming relationship, one plank of Sir Clive's after dinner speech was to talk of his low opinion of Tony Blair's Third Way. Guest of honour at the dinner: T Blair.

Good sense of humour, and ability to draw on personal experience:
During said speech, he asserted that statutory union recognition should be put in a handbook to help firms improve their pest control techniques. Also present at the dinner: John Monks, TUC general-secretary.

Good shoulder to cry on:
Told the FT: "The most difficult people to motivate are well-adjusted people. Someone who is happy is extremely difficult to motivate."

Not afraid to take a stand on an issue of principle:
Strongly opposes a minimum wage, saying it can price some low-paid workers (typically cleaners and security guards) out of jobs.

Two typical employees of Rentokil Initial
Cleaners and security guards.

In 1994, he had a 44% rise in basic salary, plus benefits and bonus, taking his total pay to 1.23m

Pithy comment on social justice:
"People rarely get what they deserve."

Healthy recreational pasttimes.
The stockmarket and current affairs (confessed in Who's Who)

One senior minister, who had just got used to Labour and Business getting along:"It does seem Sir Clive will be a very different proposition."
Investors in Rentokil: "Since I joined the company investors have multiplied their money by 30 times," he said last year.

Availability for work:
Don't touch what you can't afford.

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