Chairman biography

John Hirst

Member of the Remuneration Committee

Chairman of the Nomination Committee


John Hirst was appointed as Chairman in April 2020. He joined the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in April 2015 and was appointed as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director in January 2016.

John is Chairman of the British Standards Institution and the National Oceanography Centre. He is also a director of IMIS Global Limited and Afontech Limited. John is chairman of SUDEP Action and a Trustee of Epilepsy Research UK.

John was Chief Executive of the Met Office from 2007 to 2014 and was Group Chief Executive of Premier Farnell plc between 1998 and 2005. He joined Imperial Chemical Industries plc in 1979 where he held a number of roles over a 19 year period, including Group Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer, ICI Performance Chemicals. He also served as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Hammerson plc between 2004 and 2014. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.