That honour currently falls to George Rose, BAE’s group financial director.
It has been a busy time for Rose, who is grappling with the minutiae of a multibillion-pound deal for 236 of the company’s Eurofighter aircraft to go to four separate countries: Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.
After months of negotiations – held up it seems by differences between BAE and the Ministry of Defence – the deal could now be concluded as early as next month, say industry sources.
Production of the controversial fighter planes could then start at the company’s Warton factory near Manchester fairly soon.
And then there are the recent allegations aired on the BBC’s Money Programme, and denied by BAE, of a secret £60m slush fund at the UK’s leading arms manufacturer to help grease the wheels for a major deal with Saudi Arabia.
Just another few weeks it seems in the life of one of the country’s most newsworthy companies.
Rose must enjoy it – he only originally went to the company on a three-month secondment in 1992 when BAE was known as British Aerospace.
Before that, he had worked in finance positions in the transport industry.
After gaining a business studies degree from Thames Polytechnic, Rose went to work in 1972 with Ford. Four years later, the Lancastrian was off to British Leyland.
He remained there until 1992 when, after a stint working in the Netherlands, he returned to the UK to become Rover Group’s company controller.
From there, he moved to British Aerospace and worked his way up. Now in his early 50s, he has also been a non-executive director at Orange and Saab.
BAE may not be able to avoid unwelcome headlines but what Europe’s largest defence company has been able to do is prepare for the IFRS.
In recent weeks it has unveiled some of the most detailed plans to prepare for the changes that will eventually affect its accounting policies and financial statements.
It may be further proof that the company is intent on showing itself to be a different beast when it comes to delivering results.
In February this year, BAE announced annual results that contained no exceptional items or provisions for the first time since 1996.
The City, which had been shocked before by the company’s ability to produce unpleasant surprises, was left pleasantly surprised.
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