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Having One of These Seven Names Massively Increases your Odds of Being Boss of a Company

Following on from our research into what puts women off from working in male-dominated industries, new research from Stormline has revealed some depressing trends among the names of the UK’s top bosses, they’re almost all blokes for a start.


Like a boss – Most common names running top UK firms

Most common boss names UK.
Most common boss names UK.

More Andrews than women currently running top UK firms

One third of UK bosses share just seven names

Names with Hebrew, Greek or Latin origins most likely to rise to the top of the career ladder

As the ONS announces its annual list of most popular baby names for 2015 – with Oliver and Amelia coming top for boys and girls respectively – research conducted by us shows that when it comes to bosses in the UK, names matter. 

1 in 3 (32%) current bosses at the UK’s 50 biggest private and 50 biggest public firms are called either Andrew or Andy, James, John, Peter, Ian, Mark or Marc or Richard.

Women represent just 6% of the total variety of names currently occupying top positions within Britain’s biggest 100 firms, with bosses called Alison (Cooper, Imperial Tobacco), Melissa (Potter, Clarks Shoes), Lindsey (Pownall, Samworth Brothers) Theresa (T.J Morris), Anna (Stewart, Laing O’Rourke) and Veronique (Laury, Kingfisher PLC) representing the girls.

So if you’ve got plans of running one of Britain’s biggest companies, it might help if you’ve got a traditional Hebrew, Greek or Latin name. Your odds will also increase to better than 9/1 if you are a man.

Of the names on display in the 100 top board rooms around the UK, more than half (53%) were one-offs; ranging from a Merlin, Jebb, Nicandro, Zameer and Pascal to Ralph, Jason, Nigel, Norman and Bob.

Want a better job? Change your name to Andrew.

Andy Parker Capita
Andy Parker, boss of Capita. Image credit,
Andy Harrison boss of Whitbread, image credit The Guardian
Andy Harrison boss of Whitbread, image credit The Guardian
Andy Street of John Lewis, image credit,
Andy Street of John Lewis, image credit,

Andrew Witty – CEO, GlaxoSmithKline

Andy Hornby – chief executive, Gala Coral Group

Andy Harrison – CEO, Whitbread

Andy Parker – chief executive Capita

Andy Street – managing director John Lewis

Andy Long – CEO of Pentland Group (the chairman is Andy Rubin)

Andrew Goodsell – CEO, Acromas Holdings (Saga Group & The AA)

Andrew Mackenzie – CEO, BHP Billiton (Andrew went to the University of St. Andrews, obviously).

Zameer (Choudrey, boss of Bestway Group), Jebb (Kitchen, boss of Bibby Line), Merlin (Bingham Swire, boss of Swire Group) and Nicandro (Durante, boss of British American Tobacco) are Stormline’s favourite men’s names from the list. 

Hey, at least these guys are original.

And speaking of bosses, here’s Stormline boss Regan (nobody in the top 100 had that name), talking about some of our gear.

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