Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Vittorio Radice. Born in 1957 and brought up near Lake Como, Radice is the son of a furniture retailer. He surprised himself and his family by studying agriculture at Milan University, but he was never destined to become a farmer. His military service he insists entailed nothing much more pressing than typing and taking the general's wife shopping, but this seems to have been the last period of treading water in his life. After leaving the army he joined Associated Merchandising Corporation, one of the largest global buying organisations and by the age of 30 he was Head of Worldwide Sourcing for its Home department.
In 1990 he joined Habitat International as Buying Director, and two years later was appointed Managing Director, transforming the company's losses of £7 million into profits of over £14 million. In 1996 he was headhunted to join Selfridges as Managing Director, quickly becoming Chief Executive and transforming its fortunes. This year he has joined Marks & Spencer Plc as Executive Director for the Home Group.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: Birima by Youssou N'dour
Book: La première gorgée de Bière et autres plaisirs minuscules by Philippe Delerm
|Interviewed Guest||Vittorio Radice|