WEDNESDAY 15th MARCH 2000; Strange Decisions ...
Meeting first thing with my IT colleagues and ICL to discuss the various projects we have on the go with them. It is a difficult situation, as the outsourcing of Desktop IT support has progressed to the stage that staff are talking to HR and ICL about the transfer. In the meantime, RBS have not formally agreed to carry on with the project. We try and keep ICL positive while introducing a note of caution. But it is indicative of many situations where we are not quite sure whether to just carry on or stop everything for RBS review. The guidance does not seem very clear at the moment.
Jim Mann doesn't show for that meeting. I have a session with him planned straight after, so I go and search him out in his office. He does not look like a happy man. He confirms that Mark Fisher has got the job of Managing Director, Manufacturing, as the rumours suggested. But what is a surprise is that Mark has already told Jim that there is no place for him in the new structure - Mark says that his hands were tied and Fred Goodwin presented the IT appointments to him as a fait accompli.
What is surprising is that Mark in his previous NatWest role had a functional "dotted-line" reporting to Jim as overall Group Operations Director. Jim obviously feels he was as strong a candidate as Mark for the top Manufacturing job (I would agree) yet was apparently not even considered. RBS has asked Jim to stay and help with the integration for a few months but he understandably is not keen on this.