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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
Gent heads business honours
Vodafone chief executive Chris Gent
Gent: distanced himself from Tory policy at the election
Vodafone chief executive Chris Gent and Ford Europe president Nick Scheele are among the business people to receive knighthoods in the Queen's birthday honours list.

Both men have led calls for Britain to join the single European currency.

Mr Gent, 53, is responsible for building Vodafone almost from scratch into the world's biggest mobile phone operator.

He succeeded in clinching a record-breaking hostile takeover deal last year of Germany's Mannesman, earning himself a bonus of 10m.

A long-time friend of Britain's former Prime Minister John Major, he distanced himself from Tory policy at the recent general election.

'Delighted'

Mr Gent said he was "honoured and delighted" by the knighthood, adding: "Not only on a personal and family basis, but also for all the Vodafone staff whose achievements have made my recognition possible."

Ford Europe president Nick Scheele
Scheele: urged Tony Blair to embrace the euro
Mr Scheele, 57, has also urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to take a lead in the debate over Britain's membership of the single currency.

In the run-up to the general election, he was among a group of business leaders, including Mr Gent, to sign a letter to The Times backing euro entry.

Within hours of Mr Blair's landslide re-election, he said British business was losing out while the country remains outside the euro.

Welsh billionaire

Peter Job, outgoing chief executive of global news and information provider Reuters, has also won a knighthood.

Outgoing Reuters chief Peter Job
Job: 10 years in charge
Mr Job, 59, will retire next month after 10 years in charge. He will be succeeded by American Tom Glocer.

Brian Williamson, chairman of the UK derivatives exchange LIFFE, was another figure to win a knighthood.

A knighthood also goes to Terry Matthews, who has been described as Wales's first and only billionaire.

He recently became the largest single shareholder of the French telecoms equipment maker, Alcatel.

Services to education

Peter Vardy, chairman of national car dealership chain Reg Vardy, also receives a knighthood for services to education in his native North-East.

Mr Vardy, a committed Christian, has been at the forefront of business involvement in education and has sponsored a number of new schools and colleges in the area.

Advertising boss Frank Lowe, founder of the global Lowe Lintas agency network, has also been rewarded with a knighthood.

While former racing driver Jackie Stewart, who last year sold his Formula One team to Ford, also becomes a Sir.

And there is a knighthood for former BBC managing director Bill Cotton, now chairman of ITV franchise Meridian Broadcasting, "for services to TV broadcasting and to Marie Curie Cancer Care".

Other business knighthoods go to Donald Curry, chairman of the Meat and Livestock Commission, and Robert Ogden, chairman of civil engineering firm Ogden, for charitable work in Yorkshire.

Other honours

Peter Ellwood, group chief executive of banking group Lloyds TSB, receives an OBE.

Head of the Consumer's Association, Sheila McKechnie, has been made a dame.

Recently retired head of National Grid, David Jones, receives a CBE.

And a CBE goes to David Ross, chief executive of pension provider Scottish Widows.

See also:

15 Jun 01 | Entertainment
15 Jun 01 | Birthday Honours 2001
15 Jun 01 | UK Education
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


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