Lord Digby Jones is recognised as ‘the face of British business‘. With a renowned, no-nonsense, straight-talking approach, he is one of the world’s most acclaimed business commentators.
Digby served as Director-General of the CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, from 1st January 2000 to 30th June 2006 where he regularly visited businesses in the UK and worldwide – taking their views back to those who make the rules.
During his appointment he took the British business message to 70 different countries, internationalising the organisation and opening CBI offices in Washington DC and Beijing.
As Director General he became known in the public arena especially for his candid, forthright attitude in his many media appearances.
He campaigned relentlessly on a range of issues including the move from traditional manufacturing of commodities to value-added, innovative products and services.
He also lobbied against protectionism protesting that “it is a scourge which may well find short term popularity but inhibits growth, reduces wealth and oppresses the weak”.
His views on the Public Sector remain a subject of great debate. He has stressed that, “if fundamental reform does not take place, from working practices right through to pension provision, we will end up with an ever-diminishing private sector trying to pay for, and provide pensions for, an ever increasing and inefficient, unproductive, self-interested public sector”.
In 2005 he was knighted for his services to business and became Sir Digby Jones in the Queen’s New Years Honours List.
Lord Digby Jones – Life after the CBI:
When Digby Jones left the CBI in 2006 he spent the next 12 months in the private sector as advisor to Deloitte and Barclays Capital, held a variety of non-executive board roles, and was the unpaid UK Skills Envoy. In this role he became outraged about the levels of adult illiteracy and innumeracy in the UK, and made the point that we cannot hope to have a safer and healthier society if people lack self-respect or aspiration.
In July 2007 he was appointed Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment and became a life peer taking the title, Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham Kt. Forthright and, as ever, loyal to British business he spent the next 15 months “doing it in a different way”.
He did not join the party of government and without the ambition to progress in politics he concentrated on the business of promoting Britain across the world, travelling to 31 countries in 45 overseas visits.
Life after UKTI:
Now, in addition to his role as an active crossbencher in the House of Lords he serves as Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Limited, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the Unipart Expert Practices (UEP) Division and Chairman of Grove Industries. He is Corporate Adviser to JCB, Senior Adviser to Harvey Nash plc, Corporate Ambassador to Aon Risk Solutions, and Business Adviser to Barberry Developments Limited.
Digby is Senior Adviser of Babcock International Group plc. He is Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Argentex LLP, Non-executive Director of Thatchers Cider Ltd, Non-executive Director of Cell Therapy Ltd, Non-executive Director of Leicester Tigers plc and Chairman of ShP Limited. He advises in a number of other paid and unpaid roles, fulfilling his vision of promoting socially inclusive wealth creation.
Lord Digby Jones is a highly accomplished international keynote speaker with a capacity to communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences.
As one of the world’s most acclaimed business commentators, Digby Jones entertains and inspires audiences around the globe.
Speaking topics are bespoke and include Lord Jones’ views on the world’s economies; the changing face of business in the 21st century; the ongoing public versus private sector debates, EU Referendum and Leadership and Management lessons and strategies.