The longest-running joke in the profession

Finding a suitable candidate to take the reins at ACCA was for almost three years something of a recurring theme within the body.

Not only did the association have serious problems finding candidates, even when it did, keeping hold of them was even more of a struggle.

Andrew Hind, chief operating officer at the BBC World Service, was first in line to succeed Anthea Rose and was due to start in March 2002 after agreeing terms in October 2001.

Later, he revealed to Accountancy Age that his decision not to take the position was because of late changes to the role’s remit. ‘It was to do with what the role was going to be for the chief executive,’ he said.

Rumours were rife that Rose had refused to loosen her vice-like grip on the reins sufficiently to allow Hind room for manoeuvre.

While one cock-up could be deemed understandable, two is bordering on the ludicrous.

But that is exactly what happened in September last year when Des Hudson, the former chief executive of SMG’s publishing division, pulled the same stunt as Hind.

Blewitt remained true to his word, and began his role in mid-January. Maybe it is because he was stronger-willed than the other two candidates, or maybe it is because, as an internal promotion, he was already aware of the internal politics he would have to manage.

In this interview, he refused, as you might expect, to be drawn on the subject.

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