CBI names new director-general

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Former BBC director of strategy Carolyn Fairbairn is to replace John Cridland as director-general of the Confederation of British Industry.

Cridland announced he was stepping down in March, after five years in the role and over 30 years at the organisation.

Fairbairn was previously director of strategy at both the BBC and ITV and holds non-executive directorships at Capita, Lloyds Bank Group, the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK Statistics Authority, and small cap manufacturer Vitec.

She will step down from all non-executive roles, apart from charity Marie Curie.

Fairbairn was also a member of the Number 10 policy unit under John Major and Tony Blair, advising on health and social services.

CBI president Sir Mike Rake says: “Carolyn is a remarkable business leader with an impressive background as an economist, journalist, management consultant and policy strategist.”

He adds: “Her wealth and breadth of experience will be critical in steering the CBI through choppy political and economic waters, including an EU referendum.”

Fairbairn says: “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.”