Nefarious CEO convicted of tricking employees out of £26m

ConmanA recent judgement in the High Court of England and Wales is worth celebrating. After many years of legal action, it has been shown that in the 1990s the CEO of Roadchef tricked the trustees of the employee trust that controlled Roadchef out of their ownership. He then organised the sale of the company so that he personally got more than £26m that should have gone to all the employees. You can find the decision of the judge in lawyerly detail at

In an employee-owned company the CEO can be tempted to work for himself or herself rather than for the employees who own the company. And being trusted and respected by the employees the CEO can pull the wool over their eyes. It is very good indeed to see such a bandit brought to justice. He is personally liable to the employees for his dishonestly acquired profit of millions.

This also increases my respect for the law. I have seen the law fail massively, where an expert witness said verbally that the advice given by a merchant bank was ‘recklessly negligent’. He then refused to testify his honest opinion, because if he did he would never work in the City again. The power of big City players is used ruthlessly, and not for the benefit of society.

Employee owned firms are different: they work very effectively in the best interests of everyone. If there are exceptions, they are very few.