Martha Lane Fox

This week Sue Lawley's castaway is the dot-com millionaire and businesswoman Martha Lane Fox.

She says that as a child she was confident and bossy - tormenting her younger brother and, in games of teachers and pupils, always marking him lower than her line of teddy bears. Her drive and ambition were recognised at school and college - her brother claims her nickname was 'Fast Lane Foxy'. After studying modern and classical history at Oxford University she became a management consultant at a small company and met Brent Hoberman - who had the idea for lastminute.com. Initially, Lane Fox rubbished the idea, but eventually Brent convinced her and she joined him, appropriately enough, at the last minute. The pair launched lastminute.com in 1998 - it started out as an online bucket shop - selling the holidays that small travel agents couldn't get rid of - and branched out into entertainment and gifts. On March 14th, 2000, days before the markets peaked, lastminute.com was floated on the stock exchange - and over the following weeks prices collapsed. Martha Lane Fox became the face, the figurehead and eventually the fall-girl for the dot-com bubble. In November 2003, after lastminute.com announced a profit for the first time, Lane Fox announced she was resigning as managing director.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Get Happy by Judy Garland
Book: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Luxury: A karaoke machine

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 9 Jan 2004 09:00

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestMartha Lane Fox

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