Introduction Beth Ford has turned around the fortunes of land management company Land O’ Lakes since taking over as its chief executive in 2009, overseeing such projects as super-hydro dams in the Dominican Republic, wind farms in South America and reclamation projects in India. Her overseas work brings Ford into close contact with engineers and property developers – the lifeblood of her own company – so she’s rightly unrepentant about occasionally cleaning toilets at meetings.
Why someone with such an enviable CV would enlist the services of a cleaning firm, then, is a question that puzzles some of Ford’s detractors in the English property industry, some of whom view her as mercenary in nature. “With the amount of work we’re required to do – not just land reform but inter-state projects – it’s inevitable there will be some paper trails.” However, someone at Land O’ Lakes – Ford has never revealed who that may be – was apparently happy to have Ford’s company carried out this task. “They managed it properly and it didn’t take more than an hour.”