Chief executive, Pentland Brands
You won’t find a chief executive who is more “down with the kids” than Andy Rubin. He heads the billion-pound Pentland Brands, which comprises brands including Ellesse, Boxfresh, Lacoste, Speedo and Ted Baker footwear.
Off the top of this head, Rubin can tell you the average time per day a 14-year old spends on YouTube and Facebook and the optimum number of characters needed to get a message through to them (don’t use email, for goodness sake). He’s also one step ahead thanks to his knowledge of up-and-coming social networking sites like Foursquare.
Rubin refuses to compromise on product development or marketing and is equally happy to invest in research and development to create the next ground-breaking swimsuit for Speedo as he is linking brands like Kickers with music festivals.
Profits at Pentland Brands have continued to climb, rising 16% to £79.4m for the year to December 31, 2009.