Rose’s NatWest demise shows managers addicted to spin not substance

That didn’t take long did it? Last night the board of NatWest Group had “full confidence” in CEO Alison Rose. This morning she’s resigned as leading shareholder the Government waded into the argument over “debanking” Nigel Farage (both below) and others and she’s gone.

Why do boards of big UK PLC’s behave in such a cack-handed way. They must have known Rose’s position was untenable as she owned up to leaking the supposed reason for Farage’s debanking – he didn’t have enough money for the mighty Coutts it seemed – to BBC journalist Simon Jack. Only for the truth to emerge: they didn’t like his views on a number of issues, in a case of purpose gone mad.

NatWest’s chairman is Howard Davies, a City veteran who in previous lives was a regular on BBC radio. Davies must have known this wouldn’t stick.

As for Rose, who was paid £5.2m last year chiefly for whacking up borrower rates and closing branches, how could an executive so careful of her image (she reportedly has eight people in her private office and a personal PR company) be so clumsy, even dishonest?

The more supposedly professional Britain’s management gets the more likely it seems to step on the nearest banana skin. An addiction to spin hardly helps.

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