Claude Littner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Claude Littner
Born 1949
New York City
Nationality British–American dual national
Occupation Businessman
Known for The Apprentice
Spouse(s) Thelma Littner
Children Anthony
Alex[1]

Claude Littner (born 1949)[2] is a British business executive and the former chairman of Viglen, also known from his appearances on the BBC-produced British version of The Apprentice, interviewing for his former boss Alan Sugar. He became Alan Sugar's aide for the 2015 series, replacing Nick Hewer on the show. He continues to aide Alan Sugar on the 2016 series of the show.

Early life[edit]

Littner was born in New York City to an American mother and an Austrian-Jewish father, who had fled the Nazis in the 1930s.[2] His father worked as a chemical engineer. The family emigrated to the United Kingdom soon after Littner's birth. He holds joint British and American nationality, although he has stated he would renounce his American nationality if he could afford to do so.[2] Littner is a practising Jew.[2] He speaks fluent French.

Career[edit]

After training as an accountant, Littner developed a career as a turnaround specialist. It was in this role that he met Alan Sugar, and agreed to chair a number of Sugar's companies. In the early 1990s, Littner was chairman and chief executive of Amstrad International, Amstrad Spain and Dancall Telecom.

Littner served as: non-executive chairman of Azzurri Communications; deputy chairman of Blacks Leisure Group from August 2008 to July 2009; executive chairman of the international oilfield support services business ASCO from 2004 to 2007; non-executive director of Norton Way Motors Ltd and Myeloma UK.

A non-executive director of Amstrad since June 2007, in 2009 Sugar resigned a majority of his UK company directorships, handing over his former management duties to Littner, including the chairman's post at Viglen.

Football[edit]

When Sugar was majority owner and chairman of Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Littner was its Chief Executive from 1993 to 1998. He once almost turned down a request from The Princess Royal for tickets to a game.[3] He resigned his directorship in 2001. Littner bought into Powerleague, a five-a-side football centre operator in 2001. After leading a management buyout from 3i Group in 2003, it floated on AIM in 2006. The company was taken over in 2009 by Patron Capital.[4]

The Apprentice[edit]

He came to wider UK public recognition through his direct and confrontational style of job interviewing on The Apprentice.[5] He is the only interviewer to have appeared in this role in every series of the programme.

On 27 April 2015, it was announced that Littner had replaced Nick Hewer as Alan Sugar's aide on the show. He started when the 2015 series began on 14 October 2015, and he will continue to interview the candidates.[6]

Honours[edit]

In October 2014, the University of West London's Business School was renamed the Claude Littner Business School in appreciation of his contributions to the university. It was opened and unveiled by long-time associate and colleague, Alan Sugar.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Since 1976 Littner has been married to Thelma. They have two sons Anthony and Alex and three grandchildren.[1]

In 1997, at the age of 48, Littner was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and was given six months to live.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]