King Edward's School Home Old Edwardians Website

Ten questions with...Andy Street (1981)


 Andy Street

Andy Street is the Managing Director of John Lewis, one of the most famous department stores in the UK.  The company received a lot of publicity recently over their record profits, which were achieved despite the recession, and their special partnership scheme, which ensures a large part of these profits are divided up amongst all the staff.  Andy has also appeared on a BBC documentary 'Inside John Lewis' in March which recorded the life of the company and its employees over 12 months. 

Andy left King Edward's in 1981 and, after attending Keble College in Oxford, started employment at John Lewis before working his way up to Managing Director.

1. What is your favourite memory from your time at King Edward's?

All the geography field trips; great friendships and they began to give me the travel bug!

2. Who was your most influential teacher?

Jack Cook, Head of Economics.  He taught us like adults, not children, and made the subject come alive.

3. Did you ever get up to any mischief at King Edward's?

Oh yes - our wheeze of selling shares in a business venture to fellow members of the Cartland Club was not appreciated!

4. What were your career aspirations when you were at school?

To be a social worker for Birmingham City Council.

5. How did you achieve such a successful career?

Through a lot of luck and a good dose of hard graft.

6. What is the highlight of your career to date?

My five years running one of our businesses, as the sense of teamwork was incredible - thoroughly enjoyable.

7. What achievement in your life are you proudest of?

My 20 years running holidays for Birmingham children - voluntary work.

8. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

To turn the other cheek. Fights are rarely worth it!

9. What advice would you give to the boys at King Edward's today?

Understand the remarkable diversity (in every sense) in which you live - it's a privilege.

10. If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Mikhail Gorbachev - a man who had the bravery to change the world for the better.