CBI members have endorsed the appointment of Paul Drechsler CBE as the President of the UK’s largest business organisation at its Annual General Meeting in London.
Mr. Drechsler, Chairman of the Bibby Line Group and Chairman of the Board of Teach First, succeeds Sir Mike Rake, Chairman of BT Group plc, to become the 26th CBI President since 1965.
Paul Drechsler, CBI President, said:
“It is a great honour to be appointed CBI President at this important time for the United Kingdom’s economy.
“Sir Mike has been an outstanding President, helping to steer the business agenda through some challenging waters and proudly championing issues like equipping our young people with the right skills and education to succeed, the strength of the UK’s internal market and the benefits of our relationship with Europe.
“I’m looking forward to getting my feet under the desk, helping to power productivity and making sure our young people get the right education and skills to help them succeed in the economy of the twenty-first century. We also want to see a stronger UK at the top table of a reformed EU and to help people in all parts of the country feel the real benefits of growth.
“The CBI will have an important role to play in shaping well-informed public debate on business issues. I look forward to carrying Sir Mike’s work forward, and to working with all my new colleagues to make sure the voice of business continues to be plainly heard.”
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Paul to the CBI as our new President. His passion and excitement for the world of business, coupled with the breadth of his experience, from Britain to Brazil, will be of tremendous value to us.”
Mr Drechsler is Chairman of the Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, prior to which he was Chief Executive of the construction firm, Wates Group, from 2006 until 2014.
Before joining Wates, he worked for chemical manufacturer, ICI plc, in a variety of senior international roles, in Teeside, Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands. He was a Main Board Director of the company from 1998 to 2003.
He is Chairman of the National Skills Funding Agency, and Chairman of the Board of the charity, Teach First. He is a board member of Business in the Community and Chairman of its Education Leadership Team, and also sits on the Advisory Board of the School of Business, Trinity College Dublin.
In February 2015, he was made an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the construction industry.