Lord Sugar Angers Engineers, Saying “Engineers Make Bad Businessmen”
24 June 2011
Author: Bill Wynn
I have yet to watch this weeks episode of the Apprentice, but last week I did wince when Lord Sugar fired Glen Ward sighting the reason as "I have never yet come across an engineer that can turn his hand to business. I’m not convinced that a leopard is ever going to change his spots, and [that] an engineer is going to have the right ideas to come into business with me.” Lord Sugar went on to say that Ward was “exactly the example” of an engineer who fails at business.
New Civil Engineer reported anger amongst many Engineers and Engineers today said the statements were unfair and did little to help the public perception of engineering. It certainly got the attention of Engineers, with people talking about it and tweeting on it.
A few snippets from the New Civil Engineer article include:
NCE Graduate Awards finalist and Aecom graduate civil engineer Ed Dablin said: “Lord Sugar should know that 16% of directors of FTSE 100 companies have an engineering degree.”
Manufacturers’ organisation EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler tweeted that Sugar’s comments reinforce old views. “The list of engineers who have made good entrepreneurs is endless,” said Scuoler.
And engineer and entrepreneur Will King, who founded toiletries company King of Shaves, tweeted that he was “saddened”, and that Sugar was “so out of touch”.
We all know Lord Sugar just says it as he sees it, not thinking about the sensitivity of the matter or the political correctness. Here are a few Engineers I can think of that were very successful:
Karl Benz - German car engineer and joint founder of Mercedes-Benz (left).
James Dyson - English industrial designer and inventor (right).
So, what do you think about Lord Sugars statement. Can Engineers be good businessmen? There is certainly a case for both points of view. Let's hear yours.