The People of Ditchburn of Lytham St Anne’s
(Posh) Peter Davis
If you are going to start somewhere, Start at Ditchburn !
For those that have read the previous article written about Stewart (Sutty) Sutton and his time working with the many characters at Ditchburn will have heard of “Posh Peter” Posh Peter is now formally known as Sir Peter John Davis and also “The Man from the Pru” Sir Peter became the face of Prudential Insurance click here to see the making of the advert. Peter Davis left University and started his career at Ditchburn as a vending machine sales man, he was put amongst the workforce and on the assembly lines to learn about vending machines and how they worked, the idea being that he could use that knowledge to then sell them. well this obviously worked and within a short time he sold his first “Minispa” Drinks machine. Sir Peter John Davis (born 23 December 1941) is a British businessman, who was until June 2004, the chairman of J Sainsbury plc, which operates the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's. Davis was born in Cheshire on 23 December 1941, the son of John Stephen Davis and Adriaantje de Baat. He was educated at Shrewsbury School. Peter Davis worked for a company called the Ditchburn Organisation, Dock Road, Lytham, Lancashire, U.K. circa 1960/61. Ditchburn’s had two sides, one side being Ditchburn Music Maker, which manufactured and sold Juke Boxes and the other side being Ditchburn Vending Machines, which manufactured and sold Hot and Cold drink vending machines. Peter Davis worked for the sales and marketing side of Ditchburn Vending Machines. He worked for Sainsbury from 1976 to 1986 as marketing director and then assistant managing director. Between 1986 and 1994 he was chief executive and chairman of the publishing business Reed International and was involved in the merger with the Dutch scientific publisher Elsevier. He was chief executive of Prudential plc from 1995 having joined the company as a non-executive director. During this period, the company was condemned by the Treasury for mis-selling more pensions than any other firm. The Securities and Investments Board ordered the firm to retrain its entire sales staff, due to 'continuing and persistent breaches' of the standards of training for the sales force. Davis was knighted in 1997 for services to training and industry. In 1997 he featured in the Prudential's television advertising campaign 'The Man from the Pru' , built around the image of Davis as a friendly man advising on his customers' futures. In reality, Prudential staff were required to call him 'Mr Davis' when they met him. He rejoined Sainsbury's on 1 March 2000 as Chief Executive Officer[1] and implemented a £2bn investment in upgrading IT systems, distribution depots and stores. During his term Sainsbury's was demoted to third in the UK grocery market, behind Tesco and Asda. However, in his first two years he raised profits above target and delivered significant cost savings. With the arrival of Justin King as CEO on 29 March 2004, Davis was promoted to chairman.[4] He was due to step down in July 2005 (the appointment of Sir Ian Prosser, ex-Bass chairman, as his successor was aborted in February 2004), but in June 2004 he was forced to quit in the face of an impending shareholder revolt over his salary and bonuses. Investors were angered by a bonus share award of £2.4m in the face of the supermarket's drop in market share. Davis was succeeded by Philip Hampton. Davis has also served on the board of Boots. He was previously on the board of Business in the Community (1991–2005), having been Chairman from 1996 to December 2001 and served two terms on the Board of the Royal Opera House and was Trustee and Chairman of the Royal Opera House Foundation. Sir Peter is a Senior Advisor and a member of the Advisory Board of Permira, Europe's largest private equity company. He has served as a Trustee of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Between 2006 and 2011 he was Chairman of the charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.