John Armitt Profile Picture

Boardroom Adviser

John Armitt

Chairman National Express Group, City & Guilds Group and National Infrastructure Commission

  • Building and investing for long-term technological advancements
  • Leading business turnaround
  • Leading government and private sector teams to deliver
  • Running huge projects with many parts and stakeholders

Sir John Armitt has had an extraordinary career in rail, engineering and construction. He is Chairman of the National Express Group, City & Guilds Group and the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). He is also on the Board of the Berkeley Group and Expo 2020. Armitt was Chairman of Laing’s International and Civil Engineering divisions at John Laing plc until 1993, he then became Chief Executive of Union Railways. From 1997-2001 he was Chief Executive of Costain. Armitt then became Chief Executive of Railtrack plc and latterly Chief Executive of Network Rail from 2002-07.

Notably, Armitt was made Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority in 2007 and provided leadership to hundreds of private and government stakeholders to build all the venues, facilities and infrastructure ahead of time for the successful 2012 Olympic Games.
He was also Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 2007-12, a member of the Airports Commission from 2012-15, a member of the Board of Transport for London from 2012-16 and a Board member and later Chairman of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission from 2016-18. Armitt was also President of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 2015-16.

In September 2013 Armitt published an independent review on long term infrastructure planning in the UK. The review’s recommendations have in large part now been adopted by the current government, resulting in the National Infrastructure Commission of which Armitt is Chairman. The NIC will be navigating Britain’s largest period of infrastructure investment for several decades, building on and changing old infrastructure and adapting to tomorrow’s needs and technologies, changes in energy and transport needs and those that digitalisation and AI will bring.

He was awarded the CBE in 1996 for his contribution to the rail industry and received a knighthood in 2012 for services to engineering and construction.

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