|Born||11 October 1930|
|Nationality||South African, British|
|Known for||Chairman, British Leyland (1977-82)|
Sir Michael Edwardes (born 11 October 1930) is a British-South African business executive.
Edwardes matriculated from St. Andrew's College in 1947 before graduating from Rhodes University. He began his career in 1951 with the Chloride Group. He went on in 1966 to serve as the general manager of Alkaline Batteries, one of the groups operating companies at Redditch, Worcestershire UK. He later joined the Chloride main board and became Chief Executive in 1971 and remained in that position until 1977
He was appointed to the UK's National Enterprise Board, a QUANGO whose role was to provide financing to large UK state-owned enterprises (or nationalized industries), including the country's ailing motor giant, British Leyland, when it was established in 1975.
In 1977 he was appointed as chief executive of British Leyland, and within two weeks he became chairman as the company's board was 'pruned' from 13 to 7 members. In 1979 he was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The next year, in 1980 he attracted criticism for a speech to the CBI Conference in which he said, "If the Cabinet do not have the wit and imagination to reconcile our industrial needs with the fact of North Sea oil, they would do better to leave the bloody stuff in the ground."
His tenure with British Leyland lasted until 1982, when he was replaced by Harold Musgrove.
In 1982, on his retirement from British Leyland as CEO, Sir Michael Edwardes was presented with a British Racing Green Jaguar XJS. He later had this car shipped to South Africa, where he used it for board meetings at General Motors South Africa in 1988.
Edwardes wrote Back from the Brink, a book which discusses his experiences at British Leyland.
- Edwardes, Michael (1983). Back from the Brink : an Apocalyptic Experience. Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-217074-1.
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