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September 7, 2010
Posted: 1619 GMT

Flagship British company. American CEO. Where have we heard that before?

New Barclays CEO Bob Diamond (left) and BP counterpart Bob Dudley.

New Barclays CEO Bob Diamond (left) and BP counterpart Bob Dudley.

Bob Diamond’s appointment as CEO of Barclays comes barely a month after Bob Dudley was named as the new CEO of the embattled oil giant, BP.

The circumstances are obviously very different. One company is paying for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The other is – as far as any bank can be in the current climate – a bailout-free success story.

But what can we learn from the rise of the two Bobs?

Perhaps that the concept of a British or an American company, or any other nationality for that matter, is now void.

In this time of mergers and takeovers the so-called “nationality” of corporations is being diluted.

BP has not been British Petroleum for nine years. A large proportion of its shareholders and employees are American.

And Barclays has swallowed up much of what was the American investment bank Lehman Brothers. If you need any more proof this is the state of things to come, just look at the airline industry.

There’s no getting around it. The corporate world is getting smaller, and Messrs Diamond and Dudley are reaping the rewards.

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Filed under: Banking •Business •Quest Means Business

Share this on:   September 7th, 2010 4:28 pm ET


Jon   September 7th, 2010 6:00 pm ET

Erm... the only reason BP has that incompetent American fool is because the xenophobic US government (and people) won't accept a Brit (despite the fact the accident was Transocean's mess-up).

And the US has lost many Brits as friends as a consequence......... nice move, since the UK is one of the only friends the US has. [And, no, the US is no longer powerful enough for that not to matter. China grows by the day.]

ColinInGuildford   September 8th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

@Jon They needed someone who was willing to work before 9am and after 5:30 – the rest said they 'cou'nt be bovvered – not their company'. We've let the world pass us by because of so called 'entitlements'.

Allyson Stewart-Allen   September 9th, 2010 9:05 am ET

Will an American Diamond keep his lustre at Barclays?
Now that Britain’s biggest bank has an American CEO, will he change the culture of the business to infuse it with more of an American flavor? As the former head of Barclays Capital, you could say that he’s already changed that organization to join the global banking fraternity which is fairly homogeneous anyway. But the retail bank could benefit from more of an American service culture which could allow him to make his mark and capture share from other sleepy high street banks.

Peter Reynolds   September 10th, 2010 10:27 am ET

Bob Diamond represents everything that is bad about banking. He is the last person we want in charge of any British bank.

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