Network's Christophe Desplace answers Barker's Dozen
31 March 2008
BusinessCar's deputy editor Paul Barker puts 13 questions to Network boss Christophe Desplace
1. What was your first job? In the UK, washing dishes at Westminster Town Hall - it's where I discovered English cuisine! In France, it was a student job as petrol attendant on the motorway.
2. What was your first company car? It was a Ford Sierra 1.8 GLS. What a fantastic feeling to get your first company car. I requested a white car (back in fashion today) to match the Police The thinking behind it was that I was less likely to be caught speeding. Suffice to say it didn't work.
3. What did you listen to on your last car journey? I love classical music. Classic FM is my preferred option - it's a great antidote to the stress of traffic.
4. What one thing do you wish you could do better? Getting to grips with some of the more obscure English sayings.
5. What's your biggest achievement? Having my children, and educating them in a tri-lingual environment - challenging but very rewarding.
6. Who are your role models? Richard Branson. A real entrepreneur who makes things happen and empowers his team to run his businesses.
7. What's the stupidest thing you've done? Agreeing to beat my claustrophobic fear for scuba diving. It took me 6 months but I qualified as a diver.
8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting? How could Network be more competitive - always a healthy debate with our franchisees.
9. What's in your garage? On old E-type 1974 V12 convertible. One of the last 78 made - British racing green. A wonderful piece of design and mechanical engineering.
10. What's the worst thing about your job? Quantity of emails received per day - bad or good ones, there are still too many.
11. What one law would you make or change? I'd create a yellow buses system for kids like in America. I believe this would massively cut the traffic - remember how the traffic is when kids are on holiday.
12. What keeps you awake at night? My kids wanting a cuddle in the middle of the night.
13. Who is your ideal celebrity date? Ornella Mutti - she's an Italian actress. Like any good car, she's sophisticated and beautiful.