Fleet News

The last word: John Catling

John Catling, FMG chief executive

What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?

We are currently going through a complete business transition and change programme from top to bottom, so my biggest achievement is yet to come.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My mum. From an early age she taught me to treat people as you wish to be treated yourself. I feel this applies to all areas of life both business and personal.

What is your dream holiday?
I love Italy as a destination with its passionate people. It’s a beautiful country and I also love Italian food.

Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My son Joseph with his usual insulting banter.

What is your favourite sitcom?
Friends. I love Joey.

What is your favourite film?
A Few Good Men. Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in a courtroom duel – brilliant.

You are going to a desert island – what three things would you take with you?
Matches, fishing rod, yeast.

When was the last time you used any form of public transport?
I took the train to London for an awards ceremony. We won the green initiative category, so I suppose it’s fitting that we travelled by public transport to collect it.

What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
I’d focus on tackling the homelessness and poverty situation in the UK.

What is your favourite book?
Some Other Rainbow by John McCarthy and Brian Clough’s biography – both demonstrate very different challenges and extraordinary achievements.

If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy and why?
A Ferrari California in black as it’s my favourite car.

What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Underestimating your competitors. It’s always good to try and keep at least one step ahead.

What is your best childhood memory?
Getting a blue Raleigh Chopper for my 11th birthday.

What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
No favourite really – any type of fishy dish except fish on the bone.

How would you describe your leadership style?
Collaborative, motivational and inspiring.

When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
I think we all have to do our bit for the environment, whether that be our personal values or our corporate visions. As a company, I make sure we live up to these responsibilities.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Who was your childhood hero and why?
Any of the Liverpool football team in the glory years – mullets and all.

In retrospect, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Not every day is a party – but I guess that’s something we all learn sooner or later.

What is the one object you think you could not live without?
A corkscrew – for obvious reasons.

If you could work in another profession, what would it be?
I think I’d enjoy marketing as a career. As chief executive of a large company, you have to have a good understanding of customers and their needs.

What is the best gift you’ve ever been given?
My wonderful children.

What would be your dream car?
Ferrari California

What has been a pivotal moment in your life?

Leaving the Royal Navy to join National Breakdown (which turned into Green Flag). It was a complete change of focus and made me realise that I could do something very different with my life.

Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
The Invisible Man – because I’m nosey.

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  • Joanne - 12/12/2013 14:32

    interesting, Happy Christmas

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