Feature

5 minute interviewRichard Doyle, CEO, Esteem Systems

Tall, dark and handsome, just like Grace Jones

What have you got in your pockets?
My wallet (always short of cash), my 'things to do' list, a pen (for my 'things to do' list) and a handkerchief for emergencies.

Who would you most like to have a date with?
Dame Edna Everidge as it would be very amusing and not cause any offence to my wife.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Tall, dark and handsome.

How did you get into the IT industry?
By default: I was made redundant from my position as a management trainee at a catering equipment firm when the branch I worked in closed. I went to a job agency which got me a job as a purchase ledger clerk at a computer company (Systime circa 1975).

What's your favourite chat-up line?
I once asked a girl to dance who answered: "No, I'm particular who I dance with." To which I replied: "I'm not, that's why I asked you."

What do you do to relax?
Take my laptop and mobile on holiday (this response is e-mailed from Portugal), fly fish, play tennis and spend time with my wife and children.

What's your favourite song and why?
It depends on my mood. Right now it's In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry.

Is there life after death?
I hope so, because I am expecting to die at some stage.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you?
I allowed a lesbian hairdresser to give me a short haircut in the 80s and ended up looking like Grace Jones.

What's your favourite place and why?
Kelso in Scotland for salmon fishing, Val D'Isere in France for skiing, the Caribbean for winter sun, Portugal for summer sun and a long weekend in the South of France with my wife in between - without the kids.

If you had a dinner party and could invite anyone, dead or alive, who would you invite and why?
The American cyclist Lance Armstrong who recovered from testicular cancer to win the Tour De France twice and wrote an inspirational book called It's not about the bike - my mother died of cancer.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Spend some of it recklessly on my family and friends and if there was any left, I'd spend the balance wisely - not on IT stocks.

If you could make a voodoo doll of someone, who would it be?
A past business associate - who shall remain nameless.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Impetuously proposing to my wife as a reckless 30-year-old bachelor.

What most annoys you?
People who cannot follow simple instructions and people with no common sense (the least common of all senses).

Favourite joke?
There is this parachutist whose chute fails to open and 100ft from the ground he sees a man in overalls coming up towards him at speed. He calls out: "Excuse me, do you know anything about parachutes?" To which the other chap responds: "No, do you know anything about gas cookers?"

What's your best quality?
Decision-making (but not always the right ones).

What's your most annoying habit?
Some people have been unkind enough to say that I think I'm always right.

Who is your biggest hero/heroine?
It has to be John Wayne - in any Western.

How would you like to die and what would you choose as your epitaph?
Quickly and without pain. My epitaph would read: "He should have eaten his greens."

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This was first published in March 2002

 

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