The end of the Conn job

Tomorrow's Business

Fair play to Iain Conn, whose departure from British Gas owner Centrica was announced today after a very difficult four years.

He took the conference call himself and answered (almost) every question as directly as he could. He started at 7.45am and was still going at 8.28am, when I rang off.

The questions were blunt, mostly of the did-you-jump or were-you-pushed variety.

He could have avoided the call, instead he took the jibes with good grace.

Conn’s always been like that – accessible to journalists and honest about the difficulties faced in running one of Britain’s most important companies.

It’s a near impossible job, I’d say. If you make any sort of profit at all the tabloids and unions call you a fat cat. Fail to make one and you lose your job.

(He is of course well rewarded for his trouble.)

Given how rocky his tenure, the commentary tomorrow is unlikely to be kind.

Both he and his flaks might reflect that it would have been a lot worse if he weren’t basically a decent bloke who comes across like one.

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