This blog was written on February 3rd 2018.
From the hotel window he could see across the roofs of Fisherman’s Wharf to Alcatraz, with the Golden Gate Bridge off in the background. Images that evoked The Rock and Bullitt or, for those with longer memories, the TV series The Streets of San Francisco, with Karl Malden and a very young Michael Douglas.
But James “Jim” Johnson wasn’t there to engage in remembrances of movies past or to admire the view. As the UK Executive Director of 4Zero, one of the US’s leading transnationals in the IT space, he was there to pitch to a board committee on a new $500m+ project, with around 1,200 jobs, to be located in Europe, developing state of the art computer security systems, vital for governments and businesses at a time when terrorist and state-backed cyber guerrilla war campaigns were the stuff of daily life.
Normally, pitching for a project wouldn’t knock Jim. After all, he had helped catapult 4Zero in the UK from a small 18 people operation to the multi-billion pound, 3,000 people operation it was today. He had pulled off many internal company coups to grow the business, seeing off competition from the French, Germans, Spanish and Irish in many a memorable battle.
But today he was apprehensive.
Brexit. How he had come to hate that word. Brexit, bloody Brexit.