Simon WolfsonChief executive Next
“It’s a recession not Armageddon” was a phrase that, once uttered by Wolfson, was seized upon as a message of hope for the way the economic crisis would take hold this year. The industry has looked to Next’s results, as it has with M&S, as a barometer of how retailers are coping during this very difficult year.
Next’s cautious approach has won praise from the City and helped it keep a clean financial position. Close to David Cameron, Wolfson has continued to be very vocal on the subject of the economy with slots on Question Time and newspaper columns in airing his views on the impact of the downturn and how the business world will make it through. This has added fuel to speculation that he may be heading to a career in politics and there may be a few seats free as the expenses saga continues.
For now, though, he insists his commitment to Next, a company that is very much in his blood having been mentored by his father, former Next chairman Lord Wolfson.