Fairbairn to be next CBI Director-General

THE CBI today announced that Carolyn Fairbairn is to become its new Director-General, taking the helm at the UK’s biggest business group later this year.

A 54-year-old former director of strategy at both the BBC and ITV, Fairbairn currently holds a number of non-executive positions.

These include with global outsourcer Capita, small cap manufacturer Vitec, Lloyds Banking Group, the Competition and Markets Authority and the UK Statistics Authority.

Fairbairn has enjoyed a varied career spanning strategy, economics, policy making, management consultancy and journalism.

She plans to step down from all her current non-executive directorships when she takes up her role at the CBI, apart from remaining a trustee of the charity Marie Curie. She will take over from John Cridland, who has led the CBI since January 2011, in November.

The recruitment process for the new Director-General was led by current CBI President Sir Mike Rake and conducted by executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

Fairbairn was selected by a committee of the CBI Board from a list of 46 candidates and a final shortlist of six before being endorsed by the CBI’s Chairmen’s Committee.

She will work closely with CBI President-Designate Paul Drechsler in ensuring the interests of British businesses of all sizes across the UK are represented in Whitehall, Brussels and internationally.

Rake said: “Carolyn is a remarkable business leader with an impressive background as an economist, journalist, management consultant and policy strategist. This includes being a member of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street Policy Unit and holding senior roles at the BBC and ITV.”

Fairbairn said: “I am delighted to be joining the CBI as Director-General. The CBI has an outstanding track record of championing the conditions that enable British businesses to flourish.