British CEOs Like BP's 'Neutron Browne'

Sir John Browne, chief executive of BP Amoco, has been voted Britain's most impressive industrialist in a poll of executives from the country's top 500 companies. The Captains of Industry poll, organized by the MORI opinion research organization, is regarded as the most reliable source of information about how leading British managers view each other. Browne, who refuses to use his royal knighthood title in press releases, owes his prestige to pulling off the merger between BP and Amoco, which created one of the world's biggest oil companies. He joined BP as an apprentice after studies at Britain's Cambridge University and Stanford. A competitor said: "By the time he retires in nine years he will have taken over half his competitors and outperformed the rest into the grave." A harsh cost cutter, Browne has earned the nickname "Neutron Browne" for his success in wiping people from the payroll while leaving company assets intact. Still an eligible bachelor at 53, he got the top poll rating just ahead of Britain's airline and entertainment mogul Richard Branson.

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