Sir John Parker

Chairman, National Grid plc

Thursday 21 February 2008

DSc (Eng), ScD (Hon), DSc (Hon), D.Univ (Hon),FREng, Hon Fellow IMAREST, FRINASir John Parker

Current Appointments

Sir John Parker is Chairman of National Grid plc (October 2000), Vice Chairman of DP World (Dubai) (2006) and Joint Chairman of Mondi plc (May 2007).

He is Senior Non Executive Director (Chair) of the Court of the Bank of England (March 2005), Member of the Prime Minister's Business Council for Britain (June 2007) and a Non Executive Director of Carnival plc and Carnival Inc (2003).

Chancellor of University of Southampton (August 2006).


Sir John Parker was born in April 1942 into a farming family in County Down (Northern Ireland). He studied Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering at the College of Technology and Queens University, Belfast and joined the ship design team at Harland & Wolff in 1964. After extensive ship design and research experience he held a number of senior management positions in technical, production and ship sales.

He was appointed Managing Director of Austin & Pickersgill (Shipbuilders) Sunderland in 1974. Following nationalisation of the shipbuilding industry, he was appointed to the Board of the British Shipbuilders Corporation in 1978, later becoming Deputy Chief Executive. He returned to Harland & Wolff (1983 - 93) as Chairman and Chief Executive.

Sir John joined Babcock International plc as CEO in 1993 and Chairman and CEO in 1994. In 1997, he became a Non-executive Director of British Gas which led to his becoming Chairman of the Lattice Group on its demerger from BG Group in 2000. Lattice merged with National Grid in 2002, with Sir John becoming Chairman of the combined company, National Grid Transco.

Sir John has also been Non-executive Director of the Industrial Development Board of Northern Ireland 1983-1986, British Coal Corporation 1986-1993, GKN plc 1993-2002, BG plc (1997-2000) and Brambles Industries plc 2001-2003. Chairman of Firth Rixson plc 1999-2003, and Non-executive Director and subsequently Deputy Chairman of P&O Princess Cruises plc 2000-2003. He was Chairman RMC Group from 2002 and led the Group's transformation and agreed sale to Cemex of Mexico in 2005. He was appointed Deputy Chairman of P&O in February 2005 and Chairman May 2005. He led the Groups agreed sale to DP World (Dubai) in early 2006.

Sir John is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Younger Brother of Trinity House. He is a recipient of honorary doctorates from a number of universities in the UK and Ireland. He was President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (1996-1999) and Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights (2000-2001) and an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers. He is a governor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and a member of the General Committee of Lloyds Register of Shipping. He leads Young Offenders into work program, serves on the Defence Academy Advisory Board and is a Member of the Government's Asia Task Force. He was knighted in 2001 for Services to the Defence and Shipbuilding Industries. Sir John's recreational pursuits include sailing, reading and music. He is married to Emma and has two children; Graham, an Arts Curator and Fiona, an Environmental Scientist.

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