Past Event

Neil Johnson OBE

Neil Johnson OBE

Chairman of QinetiQ

18 January 2021, 18:00

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Neil Johnson OBE

18 January 2021

Neil Johnson OBE, born and educated in Cardiff, after Sandhurst and an early career in the Army, Neil spent some time travelling the world before joining BLMC Limited in 1974, where he held various director level appointments in the UK and Europe. In 1978 he joined Chairman Michael Edwardes’ team as Director responsible for strategic planning, including the JV with Honda.  In 1981 he became a member of the Board of Jaguar Cars Limited, directing world-wide sales and marketing and the motorsport programme.  He was part of the regeneration team that saw through the turn-around of the business and its privatisation in 1984. 

From 1985 to 1989 Neil was seconded to the UK Ministry of Defence commanding 4th Royal Green Jackets Battle-Group in 12th Armoured Brigade in Germany. He also served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. He was later promoted to Colonel and was Deputy Commander of 160 (Welsh Infantry) Brigade in Brecon.

In 1989 Neil returned to industry and became responsible for all European automotive operations of British Aerospace as a member of the main Board of Rover Group Plc. In 1992, appointed from BAe, he was Director General of the Engineering Employers’ Federation, later he became CEO of the RAC and oversaw the financial turn-around and physical restructuring of the business. During this period Neil was also the UK representative on the World Motorsport Council of the FIA. 

Since leaving the RAC, Neil has been Chairman of Tenon Group, Hornby, Cybit, Umeco, e2v Technologies, Motability Operations Group, Centaur Media and Synthomer. He is currently Chairman of QinetiQ Plc and Electra Private Equity Plc and is Deputy Chairman of BGF [Business Growth Fund].

He has been advisor to the Prime Minister on the Citizen’s Charter, a member of a Ministry of Defence Advisory Board, and was formerly an Independent member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.  

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