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The outside edge

Can we reconcile these claims? To start, the table below shows the performance of 20 bosses from constituent companies of the FTSE 100 index of the biggest UK companies. Granted, it is not actually their performance, but that of shares in their companies relative to the Footsie since the day of their appointment. Yet, whether they like it or not, share price gains (or the lack of them) are the yardstick by which these women and (mostly) men are judged.

There is nothing scientific about which 20 are included except that their tenure clusters around this important 18-month mark, with two deliberate exceptions – Andrew Williams of technology group Halma (HLMA) and Simon Wolfson of fashion retailer Next (NXT). These two are included to offer a clue about the effects of sticking with the boss through thick and thin. That said, it’s guesswork to assess which way causality runs. Do these two have such long tenure because they are successful or has their tenure helped them become successful?

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