The Fitch file Featured

1:22pm EDT August 30, 2004
Born: 1938, London, England

Education: College for Building and Engineering in London, then Central School of Art in London, studying theatre and interior design

First job: Junior in studio of specialist store builders

Career moves: After first job, a stint in the Army, then a post in the studio of The Conran Design Group. Founded Fitch in 1972, then founded Rodney Fitch International in 1994. Returned to Fitch in 2004.

Boards: Chairman, V&A Enterprises (Victoria & Albert Enterprises); former trustee, V&A Museum (Victoria & Albert Museum); deputy chairman, chairman of Finance and Public Orator for the University of Arts London; nonexecutive director, Morgan Furniture; visiting professor, Hogenschool Academy, Rotterdam, Amsterdam; honorary fellow, Royal College of Art; fellow, Royal Society of Arts; past president, Designers and Art Directors Association; past president, Chartered Society of Designers

What was your greatest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

Walking away from Fitch in 1994 with my sanity and dignity intact.

Past or present, whom do you admire most in business and why?

There are two. William Morris, the Victorian writer, poet, painter, designer, businessman and romantic. (He was) good at everything. Died, 'worked to death'.

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP (parent company to Fitch). Sir Martin has defied logic and herded disparate creative types into a disciplined, purposeful and highly successful modern enterprise.

What is the greatest lesson you've learned in business?

Business is only a way of meeting people and making friends.