John Parker (businessman)

Sir Thomas John Parker, GBE, FREng, HonFIES, HonFIET (born 8 April 1942) is a British businessman. He was Chairman of Anglo American plc until 2017[1] and was also previously Chairman of Ombu Group and a Director of Airbus. He is currently a Director of Carnival Corporation & plc. He is also past President of the Royal Academy of Engineering,[2] patron at the Centre for Process Innovation and a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford. Parker has chaired five FTSE 100 companies, including National Grid plc, from which he stood down in December 2011.

Sir John Parker

John Parker natgrid 180
Parker in 2011
Born8 April 1942 (age 77)
County Down, Northern Ireland

Early life

Parker was born into a farming family in County Down, Northern Ireland. He attended Belfast College of Technology (since 1991 called Belfast Metropolitan College). In 1958, at age 17, he joined Harland and Wolff as an apprentice naval architect (engineer). At Queen's University Belfast he was awarded an Honorary DSc degree in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.


  • 1958–1963 Apprenticeship at Harland & Wolff[3]
  • 1963–1974 Member of ship design team at Harland & Wolff[3]
  • 1974–1978 Managing Director of Austin & Pickersgill[3]
  • 1978–1983 Deputy Chief Executive of Board of the British Shipbuilders Corporation[3]
  • 1983–1993 Chairman and Chief Executive of Harland and Wolff
  • 1983–1986 Non-Executive Director of Industrial Development Board of Northern Ireland[3]
  • 1983–1986 Non-Executive Director of British Coal Corporation[4]
  • 1993–2002 Non-Executive Director of The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity[5]
  • 1993–2000 Chief Executive of Babcock International Group
  • 1994–2000 Chairman and Chief Executive of Babcock International
  • 1997–2000 Non-Executive Director of British Gas
  • 26 August 1999-3 February 2003 Chairman of Firth Rixson Limited[6]
  • 2000–2003 Non-executive Director and subsequently Deputy Chairman of P&O Princess Cruises plc[7]
  • 2000–2002 Chairman of Lattice Group
  • 2000–present Director of Carnival plc[8]
  • 2001–2003 Non-Executive Director of Brambles Industries plc[9]
  • 2002–2005 Chairman of RMC Group[10]
  • 21 October 2002–31 December 2011 Chairman of National Grid plc
  • 2003–present Non-Executive Director of Carnival Corporation[11]
  • 2005–2006 Chairman of P&O[12]
  • 2006–2011 Chancellor of the University of Southampton[13]
  • May 2007–2015 Director and Vice-Chairman of DP World[14]
  • 2007–2018 Non-Executive Director of Airbus Group[15]
  • July 2008 Non-executive Chairman of BVT Surface Fleet.
  • July 2009–2017 Chairman of Anglo American plc.
  • April 2011–2018 Non-executive Chairman of Ombu Group[16]
  • 2011–2014 President of the Royal Academy of Engineering[17]
  • 2011–2014 Member of the Prime Ministers Committee of Science & Technology[18]
  • August 2015–present Chairman of Pennon Group.


He was knighted for services to defence and shipbuilding in 2001.[19][20][21] He was also the Chancellor of the University of Southampton,[20] from 2006 to 2011,[22] as well as being a governor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.[20] Other appointments have included membership of the Prime Minister's Business Council for Britain[23] and non-executive director at the Bank of England.[24] He was President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects from 1996–9. In 2012, he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), for services to Industry and to the Voluntary Sector.[25][26] He was conferred with Honorary Fellowship of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (HonFIES) in 2012.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 1983.[2] He was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (HonFIET) in 2014.[27]

Personal life

Parker married Emma, a former Latin teacher and pianist in 1967; they have two children. Parker is a Member of the Royal Yacht Squadron.


  1. ^ Yeomans, Jon (7 June 2017). "Anglo American names Stuart Chambers as chairman". Telegraph online. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "List of Fellows".
  3. ^ a b c d e "From Harland and Wolff apprentice to Anglo American director: Sir John Parker's recipe for success" – via
  4. ^ British Coal Corporation
  5. ^ GKN plc
  6. ^ "Firth Rixson Limited". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  7. ^ "P&O Princess Cruises plc". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Carnival plc". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Brambles Industries plc". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  10. ^ Pagano, Margareta (17 January 2010). "RMC Group". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Carnival Corporation". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  12. ^ Pagano, Margareta (17 January 2010). "P&O". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  13. ^ "University of Southampton". 13 July 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  14. ^ DP World Archived 22 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Airbus Group". Airbus Group. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Ombu Group". Ombu Group. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Royal Academy of Engineering". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Prime Ministers Committee of Science & Technology (CST)". Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  20. ^ a b c "Profile: Sir John Parker, National Grid chairman". London: The Telegraph. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  21. ^ Stiff, Peter (25 August 2008). "Business big shot: Sir John Parker, Chairman of National Grid". London: The Times. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  22. ^ "CBI president to be next Chancellor of the University of Southampton". University of Southampton. 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  23. ^ "Business Council for Britain". UK Government. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  24. ^ "Bank of England – The Court of Directors". "Bank of England". Retrieved 20 January 2009.
  25. ^ THE LONDON GAZETTE SATURDAY 16 JUNE 2012 SUPPLEMENT No. 1 Archived 25 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Honorary Fellows". The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved 31 January 2015.

Further reading

  • Autobiography: Parker, Sir John: The View from the Bridge, Endeavour Quill (2018); ISBN 978-1-91144-579-1

External links

Board Profiles:


Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Alec Broers, Baron Broers
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
September 2011– August 2014
Succeeded by
Dame Ann Dowling
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne
Chancellor of the University of Southampton
Succeeded by
Dame Helen Alexander
Business positions
Preceded by
Sir Mark Moody-Stuart
Chairman of Anglo American plc
Succeeded by
Incumbent (to 31 October 2017)
Preceded by
Jeffrey Sterling, Baron Sterling of Plaistow
Chairman of P&O
Succeeded by
Incumbent Vice President, DP World
following take over
Preceded by
James Hood Ross OBE
prior to merger with Lattice Group
Chairman of National Grid plc
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Gershon
Preceded by
John King, Baron King of Wartnaby
Chairman of Babcock International
Succeeded by
Gordon Arden Campbell CBE, FREng
Subsidiaries and joint ventures


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