Kaleel Zibe – Multichem



Name: Kaleel Zibe


Job Title: Managing director and president


Company: Multichem


What were your childhood ambitions? To be a marine biologist. Then I realised you had to pretty much wait for one to die before there would be a vacancy.


What was your first full-time job? I was a software engineer. None of the marine biologists had died by then.


What was your first car? An old Audi which was so rusty that I put my thumb through the wing when buying it. A set of new tyres cost more than the car itself. A friend crashed it for me, which was nice.


What bad habits do you have? Elusive answers.


How do you like to relax? I like to immerse myself in my hobbies. Currently it is photography, which means my wife is a camera widow.


What is your favourite book and why? I have a few, but probably my favourite of the lot, and one I’m unlikely to get sick of re-reading, is 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Stonking Latin American classic.


What was the first record you bought?Upstairs at Eric’s by Yazoo!


What sports teams do you support? Newcastle United. Let’s face it, it needs the support.


What is your favourite food and drink? I like a nice heavy Cabernet or an old single malt, preferably in a large hip flask, while up a big hill miles from anywhere, with a Melton Mowbray pork pie. Classy!


What is your favourite holiday destination? South West France. We went to the Arcachon Basin and Bordeaux area, year after year, as kids and almost moved there once. It’s a wonderful place.


If you could build your house anywhere, where would it be? South West France. Chateau Zibe would be very nice, thanks.


Have you ever broken the law? I couldn’t possibly comment, ossifer.


What makes you happy? Apart from family life (which is obvious), probably time to savour things I suppose – people, landscapes, gadgets. I love invention, creativity and the incredible beauty of the world around us.


What makes you angry? Intolerance…and tripping over my wife’s shoes.


What pets do you have? One cat and a random number of marine fish.


If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you choose to have and why? I’d be Fish-Bird-Man (catchy), able to fly and also swim under water. Is it a bird? Is it a submarine? No! It’s Fish-Bird-Man doing… something vaguely useful for the community.


What was your biggest mistake in life? I don’t think I’ve made it yet.


What was your luckiest break? I think I’m quite lucky generally.


If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you be doing? Sleeping.


Can money buy happiness? Not in the slightest.


What was your most embarrassing industry-related experience? Phoning a Mexican company and repeatedly giving my phone number in Spanish to the receptionist who was actually asking me what my name was.


If you won the lottery, what would be the first item you would buy? A bouncy castle.


What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Getting the kids to do the washing up instead.


What is your IQ? I haven’t the slightest clue and I can’t understand how the human intellect could be summed up by one number. We’re far too complex for that.


Which three items would you want if secluded on a desert island? My wife and two children. Soppy, I know. OK, they’re not items, so I’d take a cool box of beer, a magazine and a getaway speedboat.


Have you got a claim to fame? I can say "I like seagulls" in Japanese.


What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Probably strawberry picking. I couldn’t eat them for over a year afterwards.


Have you got any nicknames? Hundreds apparently, because nobody can actually say my name properly.


What has been your biggest achievement? Staying broadly sane whilst having young children.


How would you like to be remembered? For having a love for life, being approachable, kind, tolerant, fun – and for the debauched house parties I used to organise before reality kicked in.