Archie Norman is one of Britain’s leading businessmen and the present Chairman of Marks & Spencer. Following graduation, he joined McKinsey’s before his rapid rise as a retailer. Norman was the Group Finance Director of Kingfisher Plc, Britain’s then largest retailer aged just 32. Five years later he was the CEO and the youngest FTSE 100 company boss. He turned around what was then an ailing supermarket chain and steered it to a successful acquisition by Walmart.
Norman is well known for paying particular attention to employees above the bottom line. Whilst CEO of ASDA where he enjoyed significant success the phrase “Tell Archie” was used highly effectively in ASDA’s marketing to reflect his personal involvement with both customers and employees.
Norman went on to lead the transformations of major British businesses, served on the Boards of several others, and built over time very strong management teams who are now in leading positions in several major British companies. Most notably at ASDA, Kingfisher and the turnaround of the Homebase DIY chain and the restructuring of Coles supermarkets in Australia both for the Wesfarmers Group.
Norman had always been interested in politics having stood unsuccessfully as the Conservative Party candidate in Southwark, London in the 1980’s. In 1997 he was persuaded to run for the vacated Conservative safe seat of Tunbridge Wells. He was elected and served two terms as MP for Tunbridge Wells. He spoke on environment and transport issues, became Chief Executive of the Conservative Party and then helped form the Policy Exchange think tank.
After stepping down from politics Norman served as a senior advisor at Lazard and then took over the helm at Energis doubling its value before selling to Cable & Wireless. He also founded Aurigo Management an investment partnership, taking a management-intensive approach to a range of under-performing retail businesses.
Norman was the Chairman of ITV, between 2009 and 2016 the first person to take on the role not to come from a media background. In 2017 he became the Chairman of Marks & Spencer.
âInspiring and informative. He related his presentation to the issues we face in our industry.â