Sir Digby Jones was in a good form when he bowed out after six years as director-general of the CBI before the great and good of the West Midlands' business world last week.
The standing ovation he received was an indication of the high esteem that the Brummie who has banged the drum for Britain all over the world is held in this part of the country.
The pontificating panjandrums of the national business press, however, are probably glad to the see the back of him.
He's been far too forthright and populist for their refined tastes. He's told it like it is - even at the risk of sounding like a stuck a record at times.
But there can't now be a manufacturer in the land who doesn't understanding that failing up to move up the value chain means "the Indians will have your lunch and the Chinese will have your dinner".
But what's this about manufacturing? London doesn't like that word. The pundits spend their time writing it down and here's a bloke from Birmingham telling everybody how important it is.
Sir Digby's successor, Richard Lambert, should be far more to their liking. He's cerebral, he's serious (not that Sir Digby, beneath the bonhomie and knock-about speaking style, wasn't), and, most importantly, he's one of them.
Being a former editor of the Financial Times and a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee counts for a lot in the Square Mile - far more than being a corporate lawyer from the Midlands did in Sir Digby's case. Certainly, Mr Lambert's style when it comes to putting the case for British industry will be very different to Sir Digby's. He's not even going to try to be a Digby Jones MkII, he says.
But will he differ very much in substance?
Probably not. In an interview with The Birmingham Post today, Mr Lambert makes it obvious that he understands manufacturing and appreciates the problems the sector faces.
More pertinently, he comes across as a man who actually likes the business and who wants to understand the nuts and bolts of how things work.
From that point of view, the carmakers and the metal-bashers look to have another champion at Centrepoint, the home of the CBI.
Mr Lambert is also singing along with Sir Digby on a crucial factor that could scupper what future the country has a manufacturing centre - education.
Both men comprehend the tragedy inherent in sending 16-year-olds out of school unequipped with the skills needed to survive in this fast-changing world of ours. They also see the danger that lies ahead for companies unable to recruit high-calibre staff. That, more than anything else, will see jobs exported to India and China, where they put "education, education, education" into effect, not just mouth it as an election slogan.
Manufacturing faces a tough challenge in this country but it is far from being the hollowed-out shell that some pundits think it is.
It does, however, need friends. So, over to you Mr Lambert. ..SUPL: