There seems to be a new sport in the UK consumer press – Willie bashing. That’s not as rude or painful as it sounds, it refers to what seems to be a competition to publish as many stories as possible slagging off British Airways and its chief executive Willie Walsh.
Now don’t get me wrong – after the disastrous opening of London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and the problems and embarrassment that followed, BA and Willie should rightly be coming under some scutiny and criticism in the UK newspapers.
But the story the papers have all jumped on today makes you wonder if they’re trying as hard as they can to spin any tiny nugget into another excuse to lay into the beleaguered carrier. Take this story in The Guardian which, from its headline, you would assume means job interviews are underway for a new CEO to replace Walsh.
In fact, if you read further down it transpires that the carrier has hired a headhunter to find a new chief operating officer and it just so happens that the ideal candidate is required to have the skills to act as a possible successor to Walsh “in five years plus”. Hardly the same as seeking a new CEO, is it? But don’t let that get in the way of a good headline.