60 Seconds of… Chairs Golden Rules

Chair of the board

2 min read

It’s been almost a decade since we began our ‘60 Seconds…’ interview series with leading Chairs. Over the years, we have made it a habit to ask for their ‘Golden Rules’ — words they strive to live by, and that have inspired us. Here we look back at a selection:

Keith Hamill OBE

“By the time received wisdom is uniformly accepted, it’s probably wrong.”

~ Keith Hamill OBE

Keith Hamill OBE is Chair of Premier Foods, a former Non-Executive Director at easyJet and Samsonite, the former Chair of Travelodge, Tullett Prebon, Moss Bros and Collins Stewart, and Pro Chancellor at the University of Nottingham.

Read Keith’s interview here.


Debbie Hewitt MBE

“Vision without execution is hallucination.”

~ Debbie Hewitt MBE

Debbie Hewitt MBE is Chair of Moss Bros Group, White Stuff, Visa UK and The Restaurant Group.

Read Debbie’s interview here.


Mike Wilson CBE

“Leadership is about getting results through others, it’s about “winning”: winning and retaining talented people, winning support, winning hearts and minds, winning followers.”

~ Mike Wilson CBE

Mike Wilson was the Life President of St James’s Place Group, the FTSE 250 wealth manager. He was formerly Chair of the Mental Health Foundation and a Non-Executive Director of Vendome Luxury Group. Mike was also a member of Board Intelligence’s Advisory Board and provided us with a tremendous amount of strategic advice, challenge and encouragement. Mike passed away on 28 February 2018.

Read Mike’s interview here.


Dennis Holt

“Look at the key decision makers and identify who’s part of the problem and who’s part of the solution. Move on the former group with dignity, and give the latter the space to deliver.”

~ Dennis Holt

Dennis Holt is Chair of Beazley and the Co-operative Bank. He was previously Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ireland and Chair of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society.

Read Dennis’s interview here.


Lorraine Baldry OBE

“Never agree to anything you don’t understand.”

~ Lorraine Baldry OBE

Lorraine Baldry is Chair of Sellafield Ltd, London & Continental Railways Ltd, Schroders Real Estate Investment Trust, Inventa Partners Ltd and of Tri-Air Developments Ltd. She is also a Governor at The University of the Arts London and a Director of Circle Holdings plc.

Read Lorraine’s interview here.


Penny Hughes CBE

“Stick to your principles. Explain the decisions you’ve taken to your mum, and see if you still feel proud of them!”

~ Penny Hughes CBE

Penny Hughes CBE is Chair of The Gym Group and a Non-Executive Director at Royal Bank of Scotland and SuperGroup. Penny has previously been a Non-Executive Director at The Gap, Reuters Group, and Vodafone Group, among many others.

Read Penny’s interview here.


Steve Varley

“You can’t talk your way out of what you’ve acted your way into.”

~ Steve Varley

Steve Varley is EY’s UK Chair and Regional Managing Partner for EY UK & Ireland. Steve is Chair of the advisory group at the British Museum, sits on the Corporate Board at the Royal Academy of Arts and has been appointed a Business Ambassador for the professional services industry by the UK Government.

Read Steve’s interview here.


Sir Malcolm Williamson

“Don’t lose sleep worrying. You can be pretty sure what bites you won’t be what you were worrying about anyway.”

~ Sir Malcolm Williamson

Sir Malcolm Williamson is Chair of Resolution Ltd and Friends Life Group plc, the FTSE 100 provider of pensions, investments and insurance, and Senior Independent Director at Aviva plc. He is the former CEO of Visa International and Standard Chartered, and has also been Chair of Clydesdale Bank and Britannic Group.

Read Sir Malcolm’s interview here.

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