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The Financial Times publishes article about School for CEOs

17 October 2013

Peter Whitehead, Editor of FT Executive Appointments, has today written a piece in his regular column about the first research report released by the School for CEOs, where aspiring and current CEOs learn from experienced business leaders. 

Peter highlights the uniqueness of the CEO role which, the reports’ interviewees said, means it requires specific preparation.  In particular, the top priorities are dealing with The City and communicating with the outside world.  He also mentions the very diverse backgrounds of CEOs interviewed for the report.  The article is in the printed newspaper and on the web at

CEOs' specific requirements
By Peter Whitehead

Being a chief executive is a unique role that requires very specific preparation. That sems to be the view of those who have been there and done it.

The School for CEOs, which provides courses for aspiring and current business leaders, asked more than 40 chief executives and chairmen about what they needed to learn when moving into the role. The vast majority (93 per cent) agreed that because the job is “uniquely lonely and bears ultimate accountability” it requires special preparation. The “Stepping up to CEO” report says top priorities include learning about the City and how to manage and communicate with the outside world.

It also finds that chief executives are a surprisingly diverse bunch – at least in terms of their education. Six per cent of the sample had no undergraduate degree and only 21 per cent studied anything business-related at university, with just 23 per cent having an MBA.

The School for CEOs was founded by Patrick Macdonald, former chief executive of John Menzies, the logistics company, and David Sole, business coach and former Scotland rugby captain. They say the report shows there is “no single CEO pathway to the top”.


 For more information and to apply for one of the School’s programmes, go to  And you can follow us on Twitter at @SchoolforCEOs.


Notes for editors: The School for CEOs is a new concept in senior executive education. It was founded in 2011 by: Patrick Macdonald, Chairman of Reconomy, CEO of Dalestone Energy and former Chief Executive of John Menzies plc; and David Sole, business coach and former international rugby captain. The next programme will take place in London on 5/6 March 2014.  The 2-day residential programme will be taught by practitioners: current and former business leaders. It aims to provide senior businessmen and women with the tools they need to become and remain successful CEOs.

For more information and to apply, call 0131 225 5886 or go to

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