CBI appoints first female director general


Andrew Critchlow

June 29, 2015

Former media executive Carolyn Fairbairn will take the helm later this year as John Cridland steps down

Former BBC strategy executive Carolyn Fairbairn has been chosen to replace John Cridland as director general of the Confederation of British Industry, the first woman to hold the position in the trade body’s 50-year history.

On her appointment Ms Fairbairn said: “The debate around Britain’s relationship with the European Union and the productivity challenge facing our economy will be two of the defining issues of the next few years, and I greatly look forward to representing the voice of British businesses of all sizes on these questions.”

Ms Fairbairn, who is a former journalist, has spent much of career working in the media. At McKinsey and Company she worked in the firm’s media practice and has held executive positions at ITV and the BBC.

“Carolyn’s CV speaks for itself,” said Sir Mike Rake, president of the CBI. “Her wealth and breadth of experience will be critical in steering the CBI through choppy political and economic waters, including an EU referendum.”

Mr Cridland, who will be stepping down from the CBI at the end of the year, has been a strong supporter of Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) and has advocated the need for companies to pay higher wages to workers.

“In the coming months I will be working tirelessly to ensure that the priorities of CBI members for the new Government are pursued relentlessly – from pushing for an ambitious EU reform agenda to addressing the aviation capacity crunch in the South East,” said Mr Cridland.

The CBI is Britain’s largest business lobby group representing 19,000 companies which employ around 7m people.

Ms Fairburn’s appointment follows that of Bibby Line Group chairman Paul Drechsler, who has been lined up to eventually replace Sir Mike as president of the CBI.

Mr Drechsler’s appointment is due to be ratified at the group’s annual general meeting on July 13.

This article was written by Andrew Critchlow from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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