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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Gabriella: Hi, I’m your host Gabriella, and welcome back to englishclass101.com.
Gina: I’m Gina and this is Culture Class, Season 2, lesson 4 - Top 5 CEOs in British Technology
Gabriella: Yes, we’ll tell you a little about the people who run the biggest companies in the British technology field. Shall we dive straight in?
Gina: I think we should!
BODY
Gabriella: At number 5 is Simon Segars.
Gina: Simon Segars is the current CEO of ARM Holdings. He has held that position since the 1st of July, 2013.
Gabriella: July 2013? So he’s only been CEO for a really short period of time.
Gina: Well, Segars joined ARM in 1991, so he’s actually had a really long career with the company.
Gabriella: He has! A lot of CEOs come in at that position or at other executive positions.
Gina: They do, but Segars began by working on the processors that ARM created. He led the development of several of their successful products and was only given an executive position in 2004, when he became Vice President of Worldwide Sales and an Executive Director in 2005.
Gabriella: So he must know a lot about ARM’s business from first hand experience.
Gina: Yeah, he was also Executive Vice President of many other departments such as Engineering and Business Development. It’s this long career and experience with ARM that gives him his place in the ranking, despite his short time as CEO.
Gabriella: Ah, I understand. Let’s move onto number 4 – Lord Livingston.
Gina: It’s important to mention here that Lord Livingston wasn’t born a Lord, but became one due to his career. Ian Livingston, as he used to be more widely known, is a Scottish businessman that showed his business skills from a really early age.
Gabriella: That’s right – he won a contest when he was at school because he took a £10,000 investment and turned it into £30,000 within three months in a fantasy shares competition.
Gina: When he left university he trained as an accountant and worked for a couple of companies before moving to The Dixons Group in 1991 as Finance Director. He was instrumental in launching Dixon’s successful broadband company Freeserve, but after the sale of Freeserve he moved to the BT Group.
Gabriella: He became the CEO of the BT Group on 1st June, 2008.
Gina: During his time as CEO, the BT Group expanded and looked at other streams of business. They bought ESPN UK, for example. He stepped down as the BT Group CEO in July 2013.
Gabriella: He’s not the CEO now?
Gina: No. Instead, he’s taken a role with the government as Minister for Trade and Investment. Alongside that, he became a life peer and now has the title Baron Livingston of Parkhead. Or, Lord Livingston.
Gabriella: So his business career and time as CEO of the BT Group gave him a top government job and a nice title!
Gina: It did. That’s why he’s been included, despite no longer being a CEO.
Gabriella: Next is number 3 – Guy Serge Berruyer.
Gina: Berruyer is French, but a large portion of his career has included working for British companies. After a stint as European Director for the US company Inuit, he joined Sage in 1997 to oversee their French activities.
Gabriella: He was appointed to the Sage board of directors in 2000, wasn’t he?
Gina: Yeah. He had the responsibility of looking after Sage’s Mainland Europe and Asian operations and during his time as CEO there, mainland Europe accounted for 70% of all Sage sales and 60% of its profits.
Gabriella: Wow, mainland Europe must have easily been Sage’s most successful area during that time?
Gina: It was. And in October 2010 he became CEO of Sage itself. Since then, Sage’s profits have risen to a record pre-tax profit of £334 million in 2012.
Gabriella: They’ve been very successful with Berruyer as CEO! Let’s move onto number 2 now – Vittorio Colao.
Gina: Colao is an Italian businessman who began his career by working for the bank Morgan Stanley. From there, he moved to the Italian branch of McKinsey &Co.
Gabriella: He moved onto telephony after that though.
Gina: Yeah, he joined the Italian phone company Omnitel Pronto-Italia in 1996 and eventually became CEO of the company. It was later taken over by Vodafone Group and rebranded as Vodafone Italy.
Gabriella: What happened to Colao after the take-over?
Gina: He stayed with the company and became the Regional CEO of Southern Europe. When the CEO position became available he showed interest, but failed to get the job and left the company to join a publishing group.
Gabriella: Did he become CEO of the publishing group?
Gina: That’s right! He did! He then returned to Vodafone in 2006 as the European CEO and on 29th July, 2008 he finally became CEO of the entire Vodafone Group.
Gabriella: How successful have Vodafone been since he became CEO?
Gina: They’ve greatly expanded their international business. When he became CEO in 2008, Vodafone had 260 million customers. In 2012, Vodafone had 446 million customers and was the second biggest mobile phone company in the world.
Gabriella: And now for number one! Our number 1 CEO in British Technology is... Jeremy Darroch.
Gina: Darroch is the current CEO of BSkyB. He began by working for Procter &Gamble and became the Finance Director of their European operations.
Gabriella: From there he moved to BSkyB, right?
Gina: Yes, in August 2004 he became BSkyB’s Chief Financial Officer and later, their CEO on the 7th December 2007.
Gabriella: What are BSkyB’s achievements since Darroch became CEO?
Gina: BSkyB not only achieved the milestone of 10 million subscribers, but became the first pay TV service in the whole of Europe to do so. This represents 36% of all households in the UK.
Gabriella: That’s a lot of Sky dishes stuck on people’s houses!
Gina: It is! In 2007, when he became CEO, BSkyB’s net profit was £499 million but by 2012 it had grown to £906 million.
Gabriella: That’s an increase of just over 80%.
Gina: Yeah, not bad for just a five year period, is it?
Gabriella: Not at all! And that’s it for our top five CEOs in British Technology.
Gina: Thank you for listening and please check the lesson notes for more information about our top 5 British technology heroes!
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Outro

Gabriella: Catch you next time! Bye!

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Hi Listeners! Are you interested in British technology?