People: Ken Sutherland | Colin Cunningham | Alan Biggar

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CONGRATULATIONS to Ken Sutherland, who becomes the first Scot to attain the post of president within the vast empire that is Japanese conglomerate Toshiba.

Sutherland, who holds a PhD in image analysis from Edinburgh University and sits on the Scottish Government’s life sciences advisory board, becomes “president of Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems Europe Limited”.

The firm employs more than 100 boffins at its Edinburgh facility specialising in medical imaging systems such as CT and MRI scanners.

Sutherland has worked in senior roles for NCR and IndigoVision and in 2007 left his position as director with Telindus in Cambridge to head back to Scotland as research and development manager with Barco – subsequently acquired by Toshiba.

We suspect that Sutherland’s new job title is going to require an extended name-plate on the office door.

Toilet paper in firing line

Scottish Environmental Technology Network director Colin Cunningham is keen for people to cut down on unnecessary consumption, but his pet project to abolish one of life’s little luxuries may not go down smoothly with everyone.

He proposes a £1,000 “idiot tax” on the most highly-wasteful items and top of his list is… three-ply quilted toilet paper.

Cunningham hopes that one day such excesses will be consigned to museums, where children will marvel that we were once so profligate as to cut down trees for the fleeting feeling of comfort between the cheeks.

It was hard to gauge how much support his suggestion garnered among the lawyers and business leaders assembled at Anderson Strathern’s Edinburgh offices when he made his case during a debate at the launch of the EcoConnect Scottish forum last week.

What’s in a name?

Choosing a company name is fraught with danger, as those behind the decision to rebrand Royal Mail as Consignia will attest.

But instead of spending thousands on external brand positioning experts, why not let fate decide? That’s what the directors of a high-tech antenna maker did 40 years ago when they set up the firm, which was recently bought by Aim-quoted electronic component supplier Solid State.

The founding Holliday family felt that “Holliday Engineering” didn’t have the right ring to it, so they decided to stick a pin in a map and ended up calling their Herefordshire-based company Q-par Angus. No prizes for working out which Perthshire town the pin landed on.

All hail Biggar fundraising

Alan Biggar has completed his epic trans-European drive for Teenage Cancer Trust, and has already raised £43,500, with more funds still to come in.

After a tour of the Six Nations’ rugby stadiums, the former head of Brewin Dolphin’s office in Edinburgh had to brave an unseasonal hail storm on his return to Scotland in his 1971 Morgan Plus Eight, with no sidescreens and no roof.