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Queens birthday honours Saturday, 12 June, 1999, 02:33 GMT 03:33 UK
Business in the community
Chessington World of Adventures
The boss who sold Chessington - but kept the Economist - is a new Lord
The business community received its fair share of recognition in the Birthday Honours list, but was rather overshadowed by the more glamorous recipients from the world of sport and the arts.

Lord Dennis Stevenson, Pearson
Only one life peer was created - Lord Dennis Stevenson, the chairman of media group Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, Pearson Television, and Penguin Books.

But three other prominent company chairman became knights, along with a moderate union leader.

Sir Tony Greener has shaped the merger that created the world's largest drinks company, Diageo.

Queens Birthday Honours
Sir John Bond has managed the shift of the huge HSBC Bank from Hong Kong to its UK base, taking over the Midland in the process.

He has recently increased the company's international presence by taking over one of New York's strongest banks, Republic.

Sir John Robb, British Energy
Sir John Robb, British Energy
Sir John Robb has overseen the privatisation of British Energy, that company that runs most of Britain's nuclear reactors. He now may be poised to acquire BNFL, the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant which owns the rest.

Sir Ken Jackson, General Secretary of the AEEU, is the only union leader honoured with a peerage.

Sir Ken Jackson, General Secretary, AEEU
Sir Ken Jackson, General Secretary, AEEU
The moderate Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union has often clashed with the more militant general unions over strategy and recognition battles.

He is a strong backer of Tony Blair, saying that the AEEU "was New Labour before anyone else." He also supports British membership of the euro.

Finally, one self-made business tycoon was honoured with a knighthood - but for his charity. Sir Maurice Hatter, founder of IMO Precision Controls, gave one million pounds to help launch the government's summer literacy scheme.

Lord Stevenson: media man

The new Lord Stevenson heads up one of Britain's most powerful media conglomerates, whose interests range from The Economist weekly magazine to television series like The Bill to the Lazard Freres merchant bank.

He is one of the movers and shakers in the business and political world.

He is an old friend of Peter Mandelson, whom he recruited to his management consultancy SRU a decade ago.

As well as Pearson, he is a non-executive director of companies such as Manpower, BSkyB, and Halifax. He has persuaded a number of them to take part in sponsorship of the Millennium Dome. He has also chaired an influential government committee that called for all schools to be on the Internet.

Lord Stevenson began his career in the public sector, where he was chairman of Peterlee New Town for ten years, attracting Japanese investment to the Northeast.

Scottish-born, he now divides his time between Westminster and Suffolk. He was chairman of the Tate Gallery for ten years.

Sir Tony Greener: drinks supremo

The man who heads up the UK's largest drinks company is another type of businessman altogether.

Sir Tony Greener, Diageo
Sir Tony Greener, Diageo
Sir Tony Greener left school with only one 'A' level before working in his father's cotton factory and then in a cardboard box factory owned by Unilever.

He rose to manage brands at Unilever and Dunhill before moving over to head Guinness just after its troubled takeover of whisky maker Distillers.

Capitalising on brands such as Johnnie Walker and Gordon's Gin, he transformed the company's profitability before launching an ambitious merger plan with rival Grand Met.

The new company - Diageo - dominates the world drinks market and has had rivals like Allied Domecq and Seagrams scrambling to consolidate.

Sir Tony has been accused of lacking interpersonal skills - but his blunt style of management has delivered a world-class UK company in the spirits business.

Minor awards

Other figures were honoured with more minor awards, which recognised other key sectors of British industry.

Christopher Fay, former chairman and chief executive of Shell Oil UK, received a CBE for services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

The defence industry received its usual share of honours, with Michael Turner, of British Aerospace, and Roy Shelly, of GKN Westland Helicopters, both receiving CBEs.

The head of one business organisation that has been in recent conflict with the government was also honoured. Lawrence Christensen, chairman of the Freight Transport Association, which has criticised the increase in road and fuel tax for lorries, received a CBE. There was no recognition for their more militant rival, the Road Haulage Association, however.

And finally, more support for the controversial Millennium Dome. Among the CBEs was one for David Trench, who is in charge of its construction.

Links to more Queens birthday honours stories are at the foot of the page.


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