Philip Aiken, chairman of Balfour Beatty and Aveva, spends much time visiting his overseas operations—it’s the best way to get first-hand feedback, he says.
Philip Aiken, chairman of Balfour Beatty and Aveva.
The phone line was crackly when I spoke to Philip Aiken in Hong Kong recently, but his message was clear—if you want to be a good company chairman, you must know everything you can about what is happening on the ground.
For Aiken, that means being in the air much of the time. As chairman of Balfour Beatty, one of the world’s biggest infrastructure groups, and chair of Aveva, the British software business, he spends many long hours flying around the globe to check out his overseas operations.
“I am a people person. Boards work best if the chairman works together with the board. You can’t act like the Gestapo.”[/pull-left
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