Opinion – Too tough at the top.

If ever there was a company that needs talented, strong and consistent management it is Railtrack. The beleaguered rail operator has just appointed its third finance director in a year, and is still having trouble finding a chairman.

This is no great surprise. The prospect of quickly becoming a scapegoat for all that is wrong with Britain’s railways, along with the possibility of facing corporate manslaughter charges, does not exactly make the job an attractive one. Neither does the company’s impossible structure.

It is right that we should expect a lot of our top executives. They are rewarded handsomely for their hard work. But we also need to be realistic in our expectations of them. If we make the top jobs of our most difficult businesses too difficult to take, then nobody is going to fill them.

And that is not going to get us anywhere.

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