Lucy Kellaway

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Lucy Kellaway (born 26 June 1959) is the management columnist at the Financial Times. Her column is syndicated in The Irish Times. In addition she has worked as energy correspondent, Brussels correspondent, a Lex writer, and interviewer of business people and celebrities, all with the FT. She has become best known for her satirical commentaries on the limitations of modern corporate culture. She is a regular commentator on the BBC World Service daily business programme Business Daily.

Personal life[edit]

Born in London, the daughter of Australians Bill and Deborah Kellaway, the writer on gardening,[1] Kellaway attended Camden School for Girls, where her mother taught English, and then Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).[2]

She is married to David Goodhart, the former editor of Prospect, although they separated in 2015.[3] She has four children. Her sister is the critic and The Observer writer Kate Kellaway.[1]



After initially working at the foreign exchange dealing room of Morgan Guaranty[4] and at the Investors Chronicle.[5] Kellaway won the Wincott Young Financial Journalist Award in 1984.[6][7][8]

Since 1985, she has worked for the FT, where she wrote the Monday column "Lucy Kellaway on Management". Some years later, a satirical column purporting to be the emails of Martin Lukes, a senior manager in a company called A&B (later expensively re-branded to a-b glöbâl) would appear on Thursdays.[5] It was revealed in 2005 that these were written by Kellaway (see below). At the British Press Awards 2006, Kellaway was named Columnist of the Year.[6][8]

She currently writes the "Dear Lucy" column,[9] in which she adopts the point of view of a business agony aunt in response to letters sent by readers.

Kellaway is a two-time winner of the Work Foundation's Workworld Media Award.[6][10]


She wrote the management book Sense and Nonsense in the Office in 1999.

Her second book was a satirical novel in emails: Martin Lukes: Who Moved My BlackBerry? (July 2005).

"Martin Lukes stands for every male manager trying to scramble to the top of the greasy pole. He is driven by ambition. He has little self-doubt—and even less self-knowledge. He thinks of himself as highly emotionally intelligent but has no idea how he is coming across. He is hungry for money, but more hungry for recognition. He wants people to love him and to be dazzled by his ability to "think outside the square," yet the ideas he comes up with are phony and pedestrian. He is a shameless player of the political game who manages by being a world-class brownnoser to disguise the fact that his native abilities are not quite as world-class as he would like."[11]

On the launch of a redesigned FT in April 2007, the editor listed Kellaway (and Lukes) as the second of five key items of unique content as reasons for reading the FT.[12] The Answers: All the office questions you never dared to ask was published in paperback in late 2007.

In 2010, Kellaway published the novel In Office Hours. The book focused on the ill-advised love affairs of two women working for a large oil company. Like much of Kellaway's work, it focused on office mores, but also displayed an emotional range that surprised some readers who were more used to the pure parody of Martin Lukes. In Office Hours was serialised on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime and described as ""funny, truthful and cracking satire" by The Sunday Times. It was favourably reviewed in The Observer.[13]

Other activities[edit]

In 2006 she was appointed a non-executive director of the insurance company Admiral Group.[14] On 20 July 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Essex.[15]

Lucy Kellaway is a regular contributor to the BBC World Service programme Business Daily.[16] For BBC Radio 4, she wrote and presented a series of ten daily 15-minute programmes on the History of Office Life in 2013, and the series The Joy of 9 to 5 in 2015. She has podcasted her FT columns since 2007.[17]



  1. ^ a b Hester Robinson Obituary: Deborah Kellaway, The Guardian, 27 January 2006
  2. ^ "LMH, Oxford - Prominent Alumni". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Lucy Kellaway (October 25, 2015). "Divorce can galvanise a career as well as ruin it". Financial Times. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Big Bang and financial crisis did nothing to the City bullyboys, Lucy Kellaway FT16 Nov 2014
  5. ^ a b Williams, Sally (25 April 2010), "Lucy Kellaway interview for In Office Hours", The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 19 December 2011 
  6. ^ a b c "Lucy Kellaway - Personally Speaking Bureau". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Wincott Foundation Awards". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Biographies". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Work Foundation Workworld Media Awards 2010". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  11. ^ interview in Fast Company
  12. ^ FT Coversheet article 23 April 2007
  13. ^ Elizabeth Day "In Office Hours by Lucy Kellaway, The Observer, 9 May 2010
  14. ^ "Admiral Group plc - Our People". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Essex: Harry Potter director gets university honour - News - East Anglian Daily Times". 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  16. ^ BBC World Service Business Programmes
  17. ^ "Listen To Lucy". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 

External links[edit]