September 7th, 2010
04:19 PM GMT
Flagship British company. American CEO. Where have we heard that before?
New Barclays CEO Bob Diamond (left) and BP counterpart Bob Dudley.
Bob Diamond’s appointment as CEO of Barclays comes barely a month after Bob Dudley was named as the new CEO of the embattled oil giant, BP.
The circumstances are obviously very different. One company is paying for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The other is – as far as any bank can be in the current climate – a bailout-free success story.
But what can we learn from the rise of the two Bobs?
Perhaps that the concept of a British or an American company, or any other nationality for that matter, is now void.
In this time of mergers and takeovers the so-called “nationality” of corporations is being diluted.
BP has not been British Petroleum for nine years. A large proportion of its shareholders and employees are American.
And Barclays has swallowed up much of what was the American investment bank Lehman Brothers. If you need any more proof this is the state of things to come, just look at the airline industry.
There’s no getting around it. The corporate world is getting smaller, and Messrs Diamond and Dudley are reaping the rewards.