PracticeConsultingHeadstart: Management – A week in the life of Chris Walton

Headstart: Management - A week in the life of Chris Walton

Monday

Paddington Station by 7am to catch Express to Heathrow for flight to Hamburg. Productive meeting with one of the airline’s major banks about financing of part of $1bn of committed aircraft deliveries. Borrowed a spare office and used laptop to log on to easyJet. Vetted papers for board meeting later in week. Late afternoon flight back to London. Evening spent preparing presentation for Friday.

Tuesday

At Luton head office by 8am to check mail and email. (easyJet’s mail is online – faxes are received electronically and mail is scanned.) Weekly risk meeting with finance managers to review economic conditions and to review internal and external risks to the business (Real IRA activity, snow warnings, fuel prices, Air Traffic Control industrial action). Most of day spent on draft accounts. Late afternoon, meet with CEO and other executive directors to discuss board issues. Home, review of accounts and board papers.

Wednesday

Early start at Luton head office. easyJet’s agm held at 10am. An FD’s dream: all resolutions passed and meeting over in 15 minutes. Full board then met for seven hours. Amongst other topics, discussed strategy for retirement of aircraft, and competitors. Chairman happy, non-exec directors happy and no surprises. A good day.

Thursday

6am. Online at home to prepare for a series of conference calls. (ISDN lines link us into easyJet’s systems, so the study at home is a second office.) Most of the morning spent on the phone. Meeting in the City with one of our house brokers. Midday, to Heathrow for flight to Munich.

Friday

Speak at conference of European bankers and aviation financiers. Leave before lunch for early afternoon flight. At the airport, BA’s check-in was not going well as its computers had crashed. Aircraft running late. Several other passengers had boarding passes for my seat, but I was first on board and possession is nine tenths … etc. Eventually, back in London.

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