27 Sep 06. WINNING By Jack Welch with Suzy Welch, Price £20.00. ISBN 0 00 7197691 Harper Colins. An excellent read for any devotees of good management practice and an excellent follow-on to ‘From the Hip.’
One paragraph in particular underlines the speech made at the SBAC dinner by Iain Gray MD of Airbus UK. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.8 ISSUE 38, 21 September 2006, THE LONG FAREWELL, By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE)
Page 183. ‘Take jet engines. Each engine is a unique, high-tech engineering marvel that requires about a billion dollars of investment to develop. The product life cycle is measured in years. And the customers are tough – the airlines themselves, perennially strapped for money, and the powerful aiframers, Boeing and Airbus.
For many years, the jet engine business had its own distinct culture of romance. The people who gravitated toward it weren’t your usual business type – they were in love with the very idea of flying and the wonder of airplanes.
Brian Rowe was perfect for such an environment.
Brian stated his career as an apprentice with DeHavilland Engines in England before joining GE as a factory-floor engineer in 1957. After stints in virtually every possible jet engine design project, he was named head of GE’s aircraft engine business in 1979.
Brian was a huge, gregarious guy – outspoken, opinionated, and visionary. He loved airplanes so much he would have worn goggles and a scarf to work if he could.’