Stuart Wilkie


I read the following news item on the web yesterday :

Stuart Wilkie, the man who led a buyout bid for Port Talbot steel works, leaves Tata

It appears that the following statement was issued by Tata Steel :

“Stuart Wilkie and two other senior managers were given a leave of absence by Tata Steel to develop a potential management buyout bid last year.

“That leave of absence has now come to an end and all three have chosen to pursue opportunities outside Tata Steel.

“We respect their decision and would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks for their collective service and wish them every success in their future careers.”

What a pity – I’m sure Stuart Wilkie was the decisive factor in getting Port Talbot back on track. Why is it that I have my doubts whether he really has “chosen to pursue opportunities outside Tata Steel” ? Somehow I have the suspicion that he was pushed rather than that he jumped of his own volition.

What else was he supposed to do when we were up for sale ? Play it safe and wait for his retirement pay-off to roll in ? Or care about the future of the plant and act according to his own beliefs ? It’s not his fault that Tata changed their minds about the sale, so I hope that his bid as part of Excalibur wasn’t seen as being disloyal.

Of course I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but it seems a crying shame to me.

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