This week's programme
Our big boss this week is PY Gerbeau; A decade after running the Millennium Dome he's now the head of a large sports and leisure company. He'll tell us whether in tough times people still spend on having fun. Also in the studio is Julie White, the woman at the top of the diamond drilling industry who's so committed to keeping her business at the cutting edge, she's just embarked on one of her own apprenticeship schemes. And we'll have Steve Hawkes, Business Editor at The Sun, offering his views on it all.
PY Gerbeau, Chief Executive, X-Leisure
Paris-born Pierre Yves Gerbeau was a professional ice hockey player, playing in the US and Canada and for the French national team until an ankle injury in 1989 ended his sporting career.www.x-leisure.co.uk
In 1991, he joined EuroDisney, where he rose to vice-president and is credited with helping to turn round the business.
On 5 February 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Millennium Dome in London. He was brought in to turn around the fortunes of an attraction struggling in the face of major financial problems and negative publicity.
Following the closure of the millennium exhibition at the end of 2000, Gerbeau became Chief Executive of X-Leisure, operator of the Xscape centres and other leisure facilities.
Julie White, Managing Director, D-Drill
Julie White completed a management buy-out of D-Drill from her father in 2008 and has since set about restructuring, remodelling and transforming the business.
Julie has always been a hands-on Managing Director and completed her NVQ5 in Business at the same time as starting her own company, Superfloor UK Ltd in 2001, introducing new techniques for Specialist floor preparation to the UK.
D-Drill has now been trading for 44 years and it has the UK’s largest branch network in its sector with an unrivalled team of experts utilising the latest equipment in diamond drilling, sawing and controlled demolition technology.
Julie is the only women running a business in this specialist industry and the first woman to be appointed to a professional body for the industry, having joined the board of directors for ‘The Drilling and Sawing Association’ and stands as UK representative at the World Association.
She has shown a huge commitment to training and apprenticeships - spending five times the industry average on training and, currently, 45 per cent of the D-Drill workforce are either undergoing or have completed an apprenticeship with the company. Julie herself is undertaking the apprenticeship to better understand what staff have to contend with on a day-to-day basis.
Under her leadership, D-Drill has won numerous industry accolades including a coveted award from the ‘International Association of Concrete Drillers and Sawers’ (IACDS) ‘The Diamond Awards’, the equivalent of an Oscar for the drilling and cutting sector and late in 2011 she was chosen as the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year – following in the footsteps of Karren Brady and Hilary Devey, of BBC Dragons’ Den.
Steve Hawkes, Business Editor, The Sun
Declan Curry brings you lively analysis of the big business stories that are making the headlines.