Government Lead Non-Executive and Non-Executive Board Member

Sir Ian Cheshire

Sir Ian Cheshire



In April 2015, Sir Ian Cheshire was appointed to the role of Government Lead Non-Executive. He was appointed for a further three years in April 2018. In August 2018, Sir Ian was also appointed the lead Non-Executive Member of the Cabinet Office Board.

He has won a number of awards including lifetime contributions to retailing and the Fortune WEF award for leadership.

Sir Ian was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to business, sustainability and the environment, and is a Chevalier of the Ordre National du Merite of France.

Additional Information and Previous Roles

Other current appointments include the Non-Executive Director of Barclays PLC and Chairman of Barclays UK, Chairman of Debenhams plc, Maisons du Monde and Menhaden plc.

Sir Ian is also the President of the Business Disability Forum and the Chairman of the Heads Together Campaign.

Sir Ian retired as Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher plc in December 2014, after 7 years in the role and 17 years with the company. He was also CEO of Kingfisher plc and B&Q.

His other former roles included the Chairman of the British Retail Consortium, Chairman of the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, and lead Non-Executive for the Department of Work and Pensions. Sir Ian retired as Non-Executive Director of B&B plc in 2010.

In addition, Sir Ian was the Senior Independent Director of Whitbread plc, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and chaired the Ecosystem Markets Task Force.

Government Lead Non-Executive

The Government Lead Non-Executive works with Secretaries of State to:

  • appoint non-executives to the board of each government department
  • improve governance across Whitehall
  • build leadership and management through the non-executives and the boards

The Government Lead Non-Executive also convenes network meetings of non-executives across Whitehall to consider the big issues that challenge all government departments and share best practice.

Non-Executive Board Member

Non-Executive Board Members are appointed on merit, reflecting ability and experience, for a fixed term, usually three years. They will exercise their role through influence and advice, supporting as well as challenging the Executive. They will advise on the clarity of strategic direction, performance, operational issues and the effective management of the Department. These responsibilities should be conducted both in and outside of Board meetings - the Executive should invite and involve the Non-Executives in key areas to ensure critical challenge and support.

Non-Executives Board Members’ views on performance will be reported by the Lead Non-Executive Board Member in the Department’s Annual Report. Non-Executives’ views will also be fed back to the Prime Minister and the Government Lead Non-Executive through the Non-Executive Board Members’ Network.

Non-Executive Board Members may be involved in the process for recruiting and appraising senior executives, and succession planning.