One of my regular correspondents sent me a mail on Mike Rake this morning. He said (subject to the odd edit or two to protect the innocent):
I think you're right in suggesting Mike Rake will fit in well at BT, but I find it truly astounding that the most senior officer in an international Big Four firm should give up all those years of dedication, prestige and comfort to enter the world of commerce. What was he pulling down at KPMG - £2.8m, or was it less? Why give that, and the clout of the position up?
Mike's a smooth operator, and perhaps can bring some CSR/corporate governance PR gloss to BT, but people like you and Dennis Howlett are already casting doubts there. (And just how good is he going to be at all the tech wizardy/vision stuff that BT needs, I wonder). But there are two options I'm really curious about:
1. Was he shunted away from the UK for any reason and promoted away to KPMG International - which might not have come off as planned with the tax shelter scandal? If this is the case, perhaps he got frustrated at being marginalised and felt he could fulfil himself better as a better paid chairman and big swinger in the City of London?
2. Could he see the writing on the wall and realise there is crap heading towards KPMG that it's going to be the international chairman's job to handle it?
Who knows. Maybe it's all just an innocent desire for an alternative job at 60. I could understand that. But it does seem odd, I have to admit.