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February 18 2001 at 10:58 AM
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Paul Stephens 

Response to Is she ready?


Hi Steve,

J. A. Brown has had just four MDs in its history. The original was Mr J. A. Brown himself, who handed over to his son in the mid-1960s. Brown Jr stayed in charge for 30 years, and became univerally known as 'The Old Man'. His reputation in the industry was formidable, to say the least.

The Old Man was stil in charge when Bernard began keeping his diary in 1994, but took bad advice from his bankers and floated the company as a PLC a couple of years later. It made him a fortune, but lost him control of the company, and after the infamous 'Dorking Biggie' fiasco (for which he sacked Finance Director Roger Brison), the share price slumped and The Broadleys Group PLC snapped the firm up.

The Old Man didn't last long as an underling of a big conglomerate, and retired a broken man. In his place, Broadleys appointed - Roger Brison! But Brison didn't last long either - after giving the B2s grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit, he was hauled in to HQ for a semi-public dressing down, and resigned. His replacement was the current MD, David Chapman, a Broadleys board member (he was IT Director), and reputedly not an altogether willing candidate. Our very own Bernard Pierce was considered for the job, and even attended an interview with the Broadleys top brass, but both sides agreed that he didn't really want it, and he returned happily to Planning, Peg's and the All Stars' canteen table.

The youngest ever MD was The Old Man, who was 35 when he took over from his father, so Cathy, who's 27, had better get her skates on...

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