Board of Directors

The Board is responsible for overseeing the management of the business of the Group and the Directors’ powers are subject to the Company’s Articles of Association and any applicable legislation and regulation.

Chairman

Chairman

Neil Johnson

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in April 2019.

Committee memberships

Nominations Committee (Chair)
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Neil’s former CEO experience and current roles as a plc Chair and Non-Executive Director brings to the Board relevant knowledge, challenge and leadership. Starting his career at Sandhurst and the army, Neil spent much of his early career in the automotive and engineering industries. He was worldwide Sales and Marketing Director at Jaguar before being seconded to the UK Ministry of Defence to command 4th Battalion The Royal Green Jackets. He returned to the industry with British Aerospace, initially running Land Rover and then all of its European automotive operations. Neil was later CEO of the RAC, and former Director General of the EEF and a Home Office appointed Independent Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority. He was previously Chairman of Motability Operations and Centaur Media plc. 

Other appointments

Chairman of Synthomer Plc (and Chair of its Nominations Committee) and Electra Private Equity plc and Senior Independent Non-Exeuctive Director of the Business Growth Fund. 

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Steve Wadey

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Chief Executive Officer in April 2015.

Committee memberships

Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Steve’s proven track record of driving growth, and his in-depth experience of defence and technology industries is of essential importance and benefit to the Board. Steve is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was previously Co-Chair of the UK Defence Growth Partnership, a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, Co-Chair of the National Defence Industries Council Research and Development Group, and  a Non-Executive Director of the UK MOD Research and Development Board. Steve has held various roles with MBDA, including as Managing Director, MBDA UK. Previously he held various roles with Matra BAe Dynamics and British Aerospace. 

Other appointments: Chair of the Defence Industry Liaison Board of the UK Department for International Trade, Defence & Security Organisation.

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

David Smith

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Chief Financial Officer in March 2017.

Committee memberships

Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

David provides significant expertise to the Group from his broad and comprehensive executive experience in blue-chip companies and work in the aerospace and defence, technology, and automotive sectors. David is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a member of its Advisory Panel. He was previously the CFO of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc, having joined as CFO of its Aerospace Division. Prior to that, David was CFO of Edwards Group and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, having previously been its CFO. He has also held a variety of roles with the Ford Motor Company.

Other appointments: N/A

Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Michael Harper

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in November 2011. Appointed Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Non-executive Director in February 2012.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Michael brings to the Board a wealth of operational and corporate experience from a lengthy career as a business leader and Board member within, amongst others, the engineering and aviation industries. He continues to provide highly valuable advice to the Board and its discussions, in particular in his capacity as the Senior Independent Director. Michael has served as Chairman of Ricardo plc, Vitec Group plc, and BBA Aviation plc, having previously been its CEO. He was Senior Independent Director of Catlin Group Limited. In addition, he was a Director of Williams plc and, at the time of its demerger, he became CEO of Kidde plc.

Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of the Aerospace Technology Institute.

Independent Non-Executive Director

Independent Non-Executive Director

Lynn Brubaker

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in January 2016.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Lynn’s experience from a number of senior Board positions at various US-based companies, in particular in the aerospace sector, makes her a valuable member of the Board and enables her to provide insightful advice on matters such as strategy and customer stakeholder management. Lynn has held positions as Non-Executive Director of Force Protection, Inc., Seabury Group, Graham Partners, Cordiem, the Nordam Group, the Flight Safety Foundation (as Chair), and as a member of the Management Advisory Council of the Federal Aviation Administration. Lynn was also the Vice President and General Manager of Commercial Aerospace at Honeywell International.

Other appointments: Non-Executive Director of FARO Technologies Inc. and Hexcel Corp.

Independent Non-Executive Director

Independent Non-Executive Director

Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in April 2010.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee (Chair)
Security Committee (Chair)

Skills, competence and experience

Sir James brings to the Board unique senior experience from the armed forces and of contracting with government. During a 37 year career in the Royal Navy, which culminated in his appointment as Commander-in-Chief Fleet, he commanded the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible and three other ships and submarines. Between operational duties, Sir James held several positions at the MOD and gained cross-Whitehall experience while on secondment to HM Treasury. 

Other appointments: N/A
Independent Non-Executive Director

Independent Non-Executive Director

Shonaid Jemmett-Page

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in May 2020.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Shonaid brings to the Board experience from previous roles as an Executive and Non-Executive Director from a breadth of sectors, including industrial and technology based businesses with international operations. This, combined with extensive financial experience, makes her the ideal candidate to take over as Chair of the Audit Committee. Previously Shonaid was the Chief Operating Officer of CDC Group plc, the UK Government’s development finance institution, having joined from Unilever, where she was the Senior Vice-President Finance and Information, Home and Personal Care, originally in Asia and later for the Group as a whole. Her early career was spent at KPMG, latterly as a partner. Her Board level experience includes Non-Executive Chair of Origo Partners plc and MSAmlin plc, and Non-Executive Director roles at GKN plc, Close Brothers Group plc and APR Energy plc. 

Other appointments: Chair of Greencoat UK Wind plc, Senior Independent Director of ClearBank Ltd and Non-Executive Director of Caledonia Investments plc.

Independent Non-Executive Director

Independent Non-Executive Director

Ian Mason

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in June 2014.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Ian brings to the Board extensive experience in strategy, business transformation, eCommerce and international business development. His current and previous experience as a CEO and Non-Executive Director, enables him to provide the Board with highly relevant business and board experience. His advice continues to be particularly valuable for the Board and the leadership team in the work of implementing and enhancing the transformation and strategy  of the Company. Previously Ian was Group Chief Executive of Electrocomponents plc. He has also worked for the Boston Consulting Group and served as a Non-Executive Director of Sage Group plc.

Other appointments: Chief Executive Officer of Domestic & General Group Limited and subsidiaries.

Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director

Paul Murray

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in October 2010.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee (Chair)
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Paul’s broad range of experience in finance and corporate governance from many industries is of significant value to the Board. As a result of his previous roles as Group Finance Director of a number of plc companies and a plc Audit Committee Chair, he has gained a deep understanding of governance, financial reporting, and regulatory issues, and he therefore serves as the Chair of the Audit Committee. Paul has held positions as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee at Royal Mail Group plc, Senior Independent Director of Taylor Nelson Sofres plc, Non-Executive Director of Thomson SA, Tangent Communications plc and Independent Oil & Gas plc. He has also been Group
Finance Director of Carlton Communications plc and LASMO plc, and Treasurer of Pilotlight.

Other appointments: Director of Ventive Ltd and Naked Energy Ltd.

Independent Non-Executive Director

Independent Non-Executive Director

Susan Searle

Appointment to the Board

Appointed Non-executive Director in March 2014.

Committee memberships

Audit Committee
Nominations Committee
Remuneration Committee (Chair)
Risk & CSR Committee
Security Committee

Skills, competence and experience

Susan brings to the Board essential experience of investing in growing technology businesses, acquisitions and exploitation of new technologies. Her experience as a plc Remuneration Committee Chair enables her to efficiently and valuably chair the Remuneration Committee. Susan was a founder of Touchstone Innovations plc, and formerly its CEO. She has served on a variety of private company boards in engineering, healthcare and advanced materials. Previously, she held a variety of commercial and business development roles with Shell Chemicals, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Montech (Australia), and Signet Group plc.

Other appointments: Senior Independent and Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee of both Benchmark Holdings plc and Horizon Discovery Group plc.  Chair of Schroder UK Public Private Trust plc.

Company Secretary and Group General Counsel

Company Secretary and Group General Counsel

Jon Messent

Appointment to the Board

Appointed as Company Secretary and Group General Counsel in January 2011.

Skills, competence and experience

Jon joined QinetiQ from Chloride Group plc where he held a similar role. He has a background in legal private practice as well as General Counsel and Company Secretarial experience in other FTSE 250 companies.