June 2016

What's the value of Philip Green's reputation

Philip Green’s Reputation and The Power of Parliament

Money may give many advantages in life, but it doesn’t secure reputation.  That is the clear message from Philip Green’s appearance in front of the Parliamentary select committee this week.

As we discussed when asked to appear on 5Live’s Wake up to Money programme this week, Philip (currently ‘Sir Philip’ at the time of writing) is the latest in a long line of high profile business people called to account – Rupert Murdoch, Mike Ashley, VW’s Paul Willis to name but a few.

No matter how much preparation and media training any of these people receive, after six hours of questions from MPs the cracks are going to show.  This leads to, often spectacular, box-office viewing and reveals something of the true character beneath the polished image.

Our job is to measure the reputation of businesses and leaders and watching Philip Green’s performance with our scorecard in front of me was like playing bad reputation bingo.

“Don’t stare at me” is likely to be something Philip Green hears as he walks the shop floor for years to come.

However, it is the BHS pension deficit that will emerge as the lasting measure of Philip Green’s reputation.  We’re about to learn exactly how much his good name is worth as he prepares to write a cheque to balance the books.

Why pay up?  No matter how much money you have, your good name is priceless.  For Philip Green, he will want to attend his next celebrity fashion show with his head held high.  What’s the point of having a £100million super yacht if your supermodel friends feel too embarrassed to visit?