Currently the Chairman of Viglen, a company worth £3.2 million, Claude Littner has had an illustrious career that has seen him as an accountant, specialist, chairman and director to many organizations and most importantly, a prolific businessman. With University of West London, recognizing the contribution made by Littner renaming it's business school as “Claude Littner Business School” in October 2014, Claude Littner certainly is a name to reckon with in the business world.
Son of an Austrian-Jewish father who was a chemical engineer and an American mother, Littner's family emigrated to England soon after he was born in 1949 in New York City. His father had fled the Nazi persecution back in the 1930's. Littner is a Jewish by faith, holds both American and British nationality, and speaks French fluently.
Littner would meet Alan Sugar, his future employer while holding the position of Chief Executive of the football club Tottenham Hotspur F.C., of which Sugar, was the majority owner and chairman then. Littner worked for Sugar as chairman to a number of Sugar's companies. The early 90's had Littner as the chairman cum chief executive of Dancall Telecom, Amstrad International and Amstrad Spain. He also chaired important posts at ASCO (2004-07); Azzurri Communications, and Blacks Leisure Group (2008-09); and Norton Way Motors Ltd and Myeloma UK. 2009 saw Alan Sugar resigning and handing over the control of most of his UK companies to Littner, and that is how Littner currently holds the chairman's position at Viglen.
In 1997, Littner was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer named Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, that he resiliently fought against, and survived. Now aged 66, Claude Littner lives amidst peaceful surroundings in north-west London. Married for over 40 years his wife Thelma Littner, the couple have two sons : Anthony and Alex.
Many also know Littner from his appearance in the UK TV series, The Apprentice through which he gained huge publicity as a direct and downright pugnacious interviewer, in the views of many. Replacing Nick Hewer to be his long time associate and colleague Alan Sugar's aide in April 2015, and continuing to be on the show as an interviewer for the candidates, Claude Littner is a name that doesn't go unnoticed due to his unique self-portrayal on the show. Surprisingly enough, the man has a calm demeanor – a total contrast to what is seen on the TV show – and not shy to admit that his own job interview with Alan Sugar had been a disaster many years ago.
Fans of The Apprentice were ecstatic and amused on December 9, 2015 to see a “mostly bald” Littner wearing a hairnet in a kitchen. Comments began surfacing on Twitter : “Claude with a hairnet on is definitely the funniest thing I've seen all day!” ; “Why is Claude wearing a hairnet?! He has no hair!! #TheApprentice.” ; “Baldy Claude in a hairnet is the highlight of my night #TheApprentice”. Other than that, his interaction on Twitter with fans and viewers is funny and insightful. But this no-nonsense man himself remains to-the-point, stern, unpredictable, direct and honest.