Kenneth Smith: not tempted to retire.
Ken is still the boss at 93
Published: 09 February, 2012
SHIRLEY: Ken Smith – aged 93 – has been in the driving seat at EH Smith for decades and does not intend to slow down just yet.
He has been chairman of the firm since 1959, when he took over following the death of his father, Howard.
This year, Mr Smith clocked up an astonishing 75 years' service with the firm, and received a framed pictorial montage of the group's outlets at a special long-service presentation.
He works five days a week based at the group's head office in Shirley – and says he has "no regrets" over his marathon career. "The business has been a large part of my life. I still do five days, although I don't come in on Saturday mornings any more. I will carry on until they carry me out.
"I still enjoy the job and have never been tempted to retire. I have seen too many people retire who deteriorate very rapidly because they do not occupy themselves.
"You have to keep your mind active. I never get bored. I have an interest in all parts of the business and I know what is going on everywhere.
"There is sometimes a lot of heartache and hassle involved but I have no regrets. I don't know anybody of my age who is still working."
Mr Smith was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence in 2008.