City Spy: Bright spark Roberts ready for a switch?

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After a lifetime sitting behind desks in the insurance industry, Roberts says he’s going back to college to get fully qualified as an electrician. Doing electrical jobs is how he unwinds after a hard day at the office, apparently.

“I love working with my hands, and I’m going to indulge myself,” he tells Spy. Bright spark, that man Roberts. Don’t bet against him resurfacing with a big chairmanship in the New Year though. Pity he’s not studying plumbing: Gareth Davis might be looking to move on from Wolseley  by then.

* Is Microsoft’s Satya Nadella the most irritating boss ever? His corporate emails are marginally less pleasant to read than listening to fingernails being scraped down a blackboard. Nadella, in a silky, patronising tone, likes to “share with you” a lot, with a heavy dollop of corporate bull. Last year he told women not to ask for a raise and “synthesised our strategic direction as a productivity and platform company” as he sacked 18,000 staff.

It’s all in the name for ad crowd

Demand for tickets for the doubtless fascinating Real-Time Advertising Summit, to be held in London in November, have apparently surged in the last day or two.

This may be because of the early-bird discount for those booking before the end of June with tickets at £1230 plus VAT rather than the full price £1495.

Or it could it be because the chief operating officer of WPP-owned digital agency GroupM has just been announced as one of the key speakers. This gentleman’s name is Ruud Wanck.

* Betfair punters are not getting exercised about the referendum on the UK’s possible exit from the European Union just yet.

“They want a date set and the actual wording of the question before they’ll stake their money,” says boss Breon Corcoran.

But he adds they have perked up at Donald Trump’s declaration as a US presidential candidate.

“You can get 100-1 for that,” he says. Hardly generous.

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June 20, 2015 |
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