Gerald Ronson, the man who revolutionised the petrol retailing business in the ’60s, has launched an autobiography entitled ’Leading from the Front - My Story. The founder and chief executive of Heron International, which operates the Snax 24 chain of service stations, is described as one of Britain’s most successful businessmen, and one
of the most hardworking and generous philanthropists in the UK.
Those in the petrol retailing industry will be aware of his legendary reputation as a trailblazer - he introduced discount pricing on the forecourt, opened the first self-service petrol station, and invented the convenience store concept, putting mini-marts on all his petrol stations. Also legendary is his reaction to anyone not doing their job properly. He is a stickler for detail and to this day continues his regular Saturday site visits. He still has a passion for petrol retailing, and is currently partners with a company developing a large chain of forecourts in America.
He is also well-known for his part in the Guinness affair in the late ’80s, and his subsequent six-month spell in prison. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg later ruled that it had been an unfair trial.
He was also hit by a major financial crisis which caused a near fatal blow to his business.
The book is published by Mainstream Publishing, list price £18.99.