Simon Speers never intended to make a fortune when he quit what he describes as the best job in Britvic. He was after a complete change od lifestyle.
Speers was MD of Britvic International and seven months ago he left to become the MD of a comparatively little known business called the Bottle Green Drinks Company.
He surrendered the security and perks that come with a top corporate job ­ the company car, the health benefits and, most difficult of all for Speers, his final salary pension. He also abandoned a job he found rewarding and which gave him a lot of autonomy.
Says Speers, 41: "Half the people I told said I was a bloody idiot the other half said bloody good luck."
But he remembers the decision as an easy one. "I wanted to be my own boss."
At Bottle Green, he says, every decision is about the company and the company alone. There is no politicking and decisions can be made instantly. "Everything I do makes a difference and has an immediate impact on the business," says Speers. He also recognised he was nearing the ceiling of his career at Britvic. "I could not see where I would have gone next and if I hadn't joined Bottle Green I would have moved within five years," says Speers.
Another reason was to improve his family life. Despite working longer hours now, mainly at weekends, he sees more of his wife and 14-year-old daughter. "I no longer jet across the world."
He confesses to missing the support structure he had at Britvic. "At Bottle Green I'm pretty much on my own and I have fewer people to lean on."
But he sees plenty of scope to expand distribution, particularly in international markets, and is well placed to open many new doors for his new company.