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Carolyn Fairbairn named as next CBI director-general

The CBI has announced this week that Carolyn Fairbairn is to become its new director-general, taking over from current director-general John Cridland later this year.

Described by the president of the UK’s largest business group as a “remarkable business leader”, Fairbairn is a former director of strategy at both the BBC and ITV who 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. To date, Fairbairn’s varied career has spanned strategy; economics; policy making; management consultancy, and journalism. She reportedly 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.

Commenting on the appointment, CBI president Sir Mike Rake said: “Carolyn’s CV speaks for itself. Her wealth and breadth of experience will be critical in steering the CBI through choppy political and economic waters, including an EU referendum.” Commenting on her appointment, 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. “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 and many others. “Now perhaps more than ever, thriving British companies hold the key to the future prosperity of our country.”