business

The bosses of two famous French firms struggle to keep customers

You see her after the third glass ALEXANDRE RICARD wants to talk boxing. He runs Pernod Ricard, a firm that sells Chivas whisky and Absolut vodka, among other drinks. Formed by his grandfather in 1975, with roots in a Pernod distiller set up in 1805, it is the world’s second-largest seller …

business

Ford has a clear plan to fix its present failings

Hackett plays it safe LIKE any mechanic with a misfiring car, Ford’s new boss has had his head under the bonnet working out what needs attention. Jim Hackett emerged on October 3rd with a checklist of repairs to present to investors, who have been awaiting his diagnosis since he took …

business

Tech giants are building their own undersea fibre-optic networks

Only 6,599km to go WHEN Cyrus Field, an American businessman, laid the first trans-Atlantic cable in 1858, it was hailed as one of the great technological achievements of its time and celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and 100-gun salutes. Alas, the reason for the festivities soon went away. Within weeks the …

business

Goldman Sags

BY TRADITION, Goldman Sachs makes risky financial wagers and stays icy cool under pressure. A bad trade on Treasury bonds in 1986 almost killed it, but was eventually cauterised. The firm’s “big short” in early 2007, when it bet that subprime securities would tumble, helped it to book profits of …

business

Panipat, the global centre for recycling textiles, is fading

Tools of the shoddy trade WHEN the doors open to the warehouse at Ambey Spinning Mills in Panipat, a city 90km from Delhi, it seems as if its contents might tumble out like those of an overstuffed cupboard. Heaps of clothes are piled to the ceiling. Ten women meticulously extract …