Dunno about this really

A leading investor group has rebuked Aston Martin Lagonda for having no women on its board.

Hmm, one of the worst investments on the market this past couple of years. The genital arrangements of the board might not be the most important worry.

The luxury car company was chaired by Penny Hughes, but she was removed as the company began to implode.

46 thoughts on “Dunno about this really”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Women tend to be concentrated in failing businesses. In fact I have been mildly toasted here for pointing out that if you are in a sector with a lot of women, it is bound to be failing. Look at the difference between public and private education. Nursing. Social Workers.

    Progress is inevitably the work of small groups of young men – usually ethnically homogeneous groups of young men. Look at Silicon Valley. If Aston Martin wants to do well, it needs to relate to their customers. In the same way that the Body Shop probably doesn’t need a lot of heterosexual males on its board apart from the CFO.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    SMFS: Look at the difference between public and private education. Nursing. Social Workers.

    Also media, police and the law. On health, add doctors as well.

  3. The luxury car company was chaired by Penny Hughes, but she was removed as the company began to implode.

    I think I might see their problem…

  4. ‘A leading investor group’

    As rated by whom?

    ‘rebuked Aston Martin Lagonda for having no women on its board.’

    Not a serious investor group.

  5. Speaking of failing enterprises and the sex of their directors, fresh from destruction under aspiring PM Jo Swinson, Ed Davey (no laughing please) is making a bid as permanent leader of the Limp Dumbs.

    Let’s hope for total wipeout next time.

  6. Women tend to be concentrated in failing businesses. In fact I have been mildly toasted here for pointing out that if you are in a sector with a lot of women, it is bound to be failing. Look at the difference between public and private education. Nursing. Social Workers.

    Progress is inevitably the work of small groups of young men – usually ethnically homogeneous groups of young men. Look at Silicon Valley. If Aston Martin wants to do well, it needs to relate to their customers. In the same way that the Body Shop probably doesn’t need a lot of heterosexual males on its board apart from the CFO.

    Agree with the comment up to the final two sentences. Even in female-driven industries we see progress driven by men:
    Fashion? Gay men
    Cooking? Male celebrity chefs
    Instagram? Two male co-founders
    Etc.

  7. I’m still searching for a fund which will allow me to short companies who promote women to the CEO role who were not the firms founders.

  8. Idea of Silicon Valley as “ethnically homogeneous” is an odd one given the number of immigrants and children of immigrants working there. Compared to America as a whole, lots of East Asians and South Asians.

  9. @MBE – But Grindr has been forced to remove selection criteria for race, so that’s a step forward surely?

    JK – Not really. We’ll just go back to putting “Vanilla Only – No Rice/Spice/Curry/Chocolate” like we did in the old days.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    MyBurningEars June 4, 2020 at 11:55 am – “Idea of Silicon Valley as “ethnically homogeneous” is an odd one given the number of immigrants and children of immigrants working there. Compared to America as a whole, lots of East Asians and South Asians.”

    Now they are doing well they are bringing in cheap labour from India and China. But when Facebook started, not a lot around. When Apple did, likewise. Admittedly there are some – Yahoo was co-founded by Jerry Yang. Google by someone from Russia – but not very heterogeneous there.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Slightly related to the topic – can I just say how much I am enjoying Meghan Markle commenting on the Floyd fuss.

    I mean some of us, perhaps, hoped the b!tch would disappear. But how little did we know? Of course she is here to tell us what really matters and make it clear that Floyd is really all about *her*.

    There will come a point when we have to send in the SAS to effect a rescue of the little ginger arse.

  12. SMFS,

    “In fact I have been mildly toasted here for pointing out that if you are in a sector with a lot of women, it is bound to be failing. Look at the difference between public and private education. Nursing. Social Workers.”

    Not sure I agree on nursing. I think in general, women are better at “caring” work than men. But women also tend to move in where men leave. Why are Oracle, IBM, HP and General Motors run by women? Because most men just don’t care about those businesses. They’re dying. Women love having the title and the nice office and a secretary. But none of those CEOs is doing anything interesting.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    I think women are more likely to look for security while men are more likely to take risks. So that would lead women to prefer jobs in the civil service and blue chip companies while more men are likely to work in start ups.

    But also working in big companies is humiliating for men. You have to be nice to arseholes all the time. Better to strike out on your own.

    However they does not explain why blue chips with female CEOs usually fail. Not 100% anyway. I also think it is because to get women on the Board companies usually make a fatal mistake – they promote the head of HR to VP to get one woman on the Board. OInce HR is in charge, they are doomed.

  14. Dennis, Bringer of Joy

    The investment group in question owns about 5% of the company. Given that Lawrence Stroll owns more than 16%, and Investindustrial Advisors just under 15%, it’s safe to say that said investment group is doing little more than virtue-signalling.

  15. The Meissen Bison

    SMFS: I think women are more likely to look for security while men are more likely to take risks.

    Yes. Also men are likely to rank tasks by the order of importance whereas women may tend to rank them by their own ability to tackle them. The upshot then is that critical tasks give way to displacement activities.

  16. And what is the leading investor group leading us into? The valley of the shadow of death?

  17. Also men are likely to rank tasks by the order of importance whereas women may tend to rank them by their own ability to tackle them

    This struck a chord. I had put it down just to inability to see the big picture but this makes sense. I’ve noticed it a lot in male vs female sales people (of varying successes…) in my org – if men fail to sign a customer the lessons they learn are “should have identified their needs better”, “should have called it off sooner when we found out their budget” etc. When women fail the lessons they seem to learn are “if word #10 on slide #37 was this word instead then we would have won”

  18. SMFS,

    “I think women are more likely to look for security while men are more likely to take risks. So that would lead women to prefer jobs in the civil service and blue chip companies while more men are likely to work in start ups.”

    True

    “But also working in big companies is humiliating for men. You have to be nice to arseholes all the time. Better to strike out on your own.”

    Working in large companies is like being in school, generally. It’s more about following rules than what you achieve. Women are often fine with this.

    “However they does not explain why blue chips with female CEOs usually fail. Not 100% anyway. I also think it is because to get women on the Board companies usually make a fatal mistake – they promote the head of HR to VP to get one woman on the Board. OInce HR is in charge, they are doomed.”

    It’s also that they don’t have a way forward or a vision. They’re caretakers (and many male CEOs who jump around from various types of industry are similar). They either keep doing what they’re doing, or join in with changes too late and in a half-arsed fashion. The women who had a shot at CEO at IBM, HP and Oracle have delivered nothing that sets them apart. Oracle did a cloud, but it was so long after Amazon and Microsoft that no-one cares.

  19. Isn’t the Investment Association, the investor group in question, a collection of no-mark local authority pension funds and the like? The sort where the state-backed pensions of sustainable diversity managers are mismanaged by some div in a polyester suit.

  20. There is a maxim that long observance of management in various industries has taught me.

    There are two things one can do as a manager for which one will never be sacked :

    a) Buy IBM stuff
    b) Nothing

  21. I think that choosing anyone on the basis of their gender (or colour) rather than their ability *and willingness* to do the job is a very unwise. Guys and Gals inheriting the CEO/Chairman role in a family-controlled company do better on average than those chosen to suit a PC (or even an anti-PC) agenda.
    You can add Cynthia Carroll at Anglo-American to your list of disasters, partly not not solely because she took a big risk that she didn’t understand: Minas Rios cost roughly twice as much as forecast to bring to production and Anglo had to write it down by $4bn – but that was just *one* of her blunders. She spent half a billion dollars on the Pebble Mine project (which was environmentally dubious in contrast to Anglo’s earlier record of concern for the environment) after she left Anglo walked away writing that off as a dead loss. Anglo’s share price worse than halved under her leadership. Since she left Anglo has had to spend around $100 million repairing and upgrading work done (slurry pipe and tailings dam), on Minas Rio when she was in charge, with associated losses of another $300m. Her salary of £1m pa pales into insignificance beside the $5bn or so she cost. {Foxleigh was also a loser but you need a forensic accountant to explain how Anglo booked a $42m profit when they received $7m cash on selling their 70% share].

  22. I’ve advanced this theory before. Drawn from personal experience.
    Despite received wisdom, women are remarkably poor at relating to other people. Emotion is mistaken for empathy. They don’t make good team players & are bad at seeing things from other’s perspectives. Listen to women talking. They talk more than they listen. Ask a mate for advice & your mate will give you advice that he considers beneficial to you. A woman asking another woman is likely to get advice benefits the woman being asked.

    Also men are likely to rank tasks by the order of importance whereas women may tend to rank them by their own ability to tackle them

    When you say “örder of importance” you’re making a judgement separate from yourself. How to bring a process to an optimum solution. To a woman the order of importance relates to her. So she may feel more affinity for the aspects she’s capable of tackling. It’s the optimum solution for her.

  23. Silicon Valley is not ethnically homogenous. It has probably about as diverse a workforce as you’ll find anywhere, though it is true that there aren’t really a lot of blacks, but the black portion of California’s population has been getting smaller and smaller for decades.

  24. Bloke in North Dorset

    There’s no link do I may be missing something …

    If you’re a major shareholder you get to appoint your own directors so can appoint all the women you want.

    If you’re a minor shareholder and you’re not happy with the composition of the Board you can increase your stake to the point you get to appoint directors or join other minor shareholders and see if you have enough clout to appoint a Board member or sell up.

  25. John77, I see that you lack the understanding of the financial engineering, and jiggery-pokery, that goes into making a sale of $7m for an asset into a $42m profit. So, you must have been a seagull, as we used to call the Head Office wankers. A seagull, flies in, eats the food, makes a lot of noise, shits all over the place, and then flies off.

    So, I heard an unsubstantiated rumour, that CC had a clause in her severance package that allowed her access to the Anglo Corporate plane for free. As all good Yankee CEOs have done following in the path of the big footsteps left by the legendary Jack Welch…

    Cuffani, her successor, who had the job of steadying the good ship Anglo, sold off the company plane very soon after taking over, to save money, and not to spite his predecessor.

  26. This SJW stuff is unfortunately spreading through the industry. Partly there’s an element of social pressure, but partly it’s driven by regulation.

    Lots of end clients (often public sector and other pension funds) are now obliged to publish material on topics like climate change, gender, even nonsense like modern slavery. They don’t really know what to do so basically ask their fund managers to disclose something to them. They don’t really know what to do either so they request companies tick boxes. That’s why so many companies now publish the biofuel known as sustainability reports. And why you see stuff like this women on boards thing.

    Coming up next are regulations requiring fund managers to disclose to the regulators how they engage companies on these issues. Next year I think.

    Whole bureaucracies are popping up in the investment firms to service this stuff. Lots of well paid paper shufflers. It’s a pain but it keeps out pesky start-up competition and entrenches the big firms

  27. @ jollygreenman
    Actually I do understand the financial engineering (in this case they reported recycling from reserves a “translation gain” of $51m), but checking all the details would involve downloading and reading through the notes in over half-a-dozen Annual Reports, which just isn’t worth the bother, and *then* translating it out of accounting jargon into English.
    However I did make one error – as it was so long ago I googled Minas Rio write-down and foolishly trusted the mining.com article – the Anglo Annual report reveals that $4bn was the residual value of Minas Rio after the write-downs (plural) of $11.5bn; add in the cost of repairs and upgrades after the leak and that’s $12bn – more than the original projection of total cost.

  28. The investment assoc (made and then anon leaked this report) Their twitter feed bears more than a passing resemblance to common or garden campaigning organisation. have they always had the rainbow logo i wonder?
    https://twitter.com/InvAssoc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    So the investment assoc doesn’t have any money tied up in Aston Martin Lagonda. They collect subs and do PR for the fund management industry, And they’ve taken it on themselves to criticise a hands on white knight individual Larry Stroll for not having sex at the top of his agenda when trying to sort out a cluster fuck business, whose share price nose dived into a very shallow puddle.

  29. SMFS “why blue chips with female CEOs usually fail”

    I think the failure is already on the way, the female CEO is a consequence rather than cause. The clever talented people have joined the brain drain, what is left are people who like organisations and box ticking etc.

  30. @Mal Reynolds
    +1
    Cosmetics, Hair is invariably men too. In credits: Make-up artist Joe B, Hair Joe C

    BBC3 Make-up show competition last year: male won. imo Women failed due to time pressure and emotional reactions

    Gov’t, HoC, SAGE problems (esp CV19) – Women and delaying, emotional, fearful reactions

  31. @SMFS June 4, 2020 at 12:15pm

    Yeah, the Cali loon & Harry angered and embarrassed our Queen & UK again. Harry’s Duke title should be removed

    – Meghan Marbles goes political

    Lots of pertinent informative news today BBC won’t report, do take a look
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/

    eg
    – Delingpole: ‘Climate Catastrophe Is White Supremacy’ Explains NASA Scientist
    – Project Veritas: Portland Antifa Cell Trains Recruits to ‘Eye Gouge,’ ‘Destroy Your Enemy’
    – Project Veritas: https://www .youtube.com/watch?v=VLR76_e_koE

  32. @SMFS June 4, 2020 at 12:15pm

    Yeah, the Cali loon & Harry angered and embarrassed our Queen & UK again. Harry’s Duke title should be removed

    – Meghan Marbles goes political

    Lots of pertinent informative news today BBC won’t report, do take a look
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/

    eg
    – Delingpole: ‘Climate Catastrophe Is White Supremacy’ Explains NASA Scientist
    – Project Veritas: Portland Antifa Cell Trains Recruits to ‘Eye Gouge,’ ‘Destroy Your Enemy’
    – Project Veritas: youtube.com/watch?v=VLR76_e_koE

  33. So Much For Subtlety

    Pcar June 4, 2020 at 10:38 pm – “Cosmetics, Hair is invariably men too. In credits: Make-up artist Joe B, Hair Joe C”

    Another possible reason is that it helps men get laid. If men succeed professionally at pretty much anything, women will sleep with them. I am sure that Glasgow’s best bin man gets more action than your average bin man that way.

    But women? Not so much. I doubt many men are turned on by a woman boasting of her contract closing abilities.

    If men want to sleep with more women, they need to succeed. If women want a better class of man, they should have become primary school teachers.

  34. “Glasgow’s best bin man gets more action” – not though the platonic ideal dustman. He must wear cor blimey trousers, which are anathema to platonic ideal dolly birds.

  35. I understand that Penny reversed a couple of decisions made before she took her seat, and you know how some women are at reversing. In any car, never mind an Aston Martin, such manoeuvring can cause problems. In this case, it obviously did.

  36. Dennis, Legend of the Parish

    Let me be the first to declare “These comments are nothing but Misogyny”.

    That’s crazy talk. Those women are getting what they deserve.

  37. Actually, that is too generous. Mark Cutifani has spent a lot of his Shareholder Relations effort on explaining that he is really, really trying to improve Anglo’s health and safety performance back to where it should be.

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