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David Montgomery might appear a bit cold, but he's effective.
There's a famous anecdote about David Montgomery. He was having his picture taken for Mirror Group's annual report and, after clicking away, the enthusiastic photographer said: "These are great shots Mr Montgomery, but maybe we can take one of you smiling?" To which Montgomery replied: "I am smiling."
It is not for nothing that David Montgomery, chief executive of Mirror Group, has a reputation as a dour Ulsterman with an enormous capacity for work. He has been portrayed as a deft cost-cutter, a newspaper butcher, more interested in the bottom line than investing in quality editorial. But is this a fair picture of a man who reversed the fortunes of a newspaper organisation which was on the point of collapse, post-Maxwell and the pensions scandal?
Five-and-a-half-years into his reign, the company has emerged as a takeover target worth as much as 1.2 billion [pounds sterling]. That must surely bring a faint smile, even to Monty's thin lips.
Since being drafted in by the banks which controlled the shell-shocked Mirror Group in 1992, the former News of the World and Today editor has crafted the …