Sir John Parker

Sir John Parker

Sir John Parker started his early career in ship designing and shipbuilding companies. Following nationalisation of the shipbuilding industry he was appointed to the board of the British Shipbuilders Corporation in 1978 and later became Deputy Chief Executive. He became Chairman and Chief Executive of Harland & Wolff in 1983.

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

Board Mandates

In April 2015 Sir John joined Pennon Group plc as Deputy Chairman and became Chairman in July 2015.

Sir John has been Chairman of Anglo American from 2009 until November 2017. In 2012 he stepped down as Chairman of National Grid, after 10 years in this role, and in 2015 stepped down as Vice-Chairman of DP World (Dubai).

He is a Non-Executive Director of Carnival Corporation and Airbus Group and was, until June 2009, Senior Non-Executive Director and Chair on the Court of the Bank of England.

He is currently Chairing the review for Government on Ethnic Diversity on Boards and the UK Naval Shipbuilding Strategy for MOD.

Sir John has also been Joint-Chairman of Mondi plc (until July 2009), was Chair of the BVT Joint Venture until 2008 and a member of the Prime Minister's Business Council for Britain (2007-2010). He was a Non-Executive Director of the Industrial Development Board of Northern Ireland, the British Coal Corporation, GKN plc and Brambles Industries plc. He has been Chairman of Firth Rixson, Deputy Chairman of P&O Princess Cruises, Chairman of RMC Group, leading the Group's transformation and sale to Cemex of Mexico in 2005. He was appointed Deputy Chairman of P&O in February 2005 and Chairman in May 2005. He led the Group's sale to DP World (Dubai) in early 2006. 

Sir John was President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (until September 2014), an Elder Brother of Trinity House, President of Smeatonian Society for Civil Engineers and a visiting fellow of the University of Oxford. He was Chancellor of the University of Southampton (2006-2011), President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Fuellers. He is a Governor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a member of the General Committee of Lloyds Register of Shipping and Vice-President of The Royal Navy and Marines Charity. He served on the Defence Academy Advisory Board and was a member of the Government's Asia Task Force as well as member of the White Ensign Association and leader of the 'Young Offenders into Work' programme.


Sir John is a recipient of honorary doctorates from a number of universities in the UK and Ireland. He was knighted in 2001 for services to the Defence and Shipbuilding Industries and was appointed GBE in 2012 for Services to Industry and the Voluntary Sectors.

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