Peter Gummer, Baron Chadlington
|The Right Honourable
The Lord Chadlington
|Born||Peter Selwyn Gummer
24 August 1942
Early life and education
Gummer was born on 24 August 1942 to Selwyn Gummer, a Church of England priest, and his wife Margaret Mason. Gummer has two brothers; John Gummer, Baron Deben, former Chairman of the Conservative Party, and Mark Selwyn Gummer, a businessman. He was educated at The King's School, Rochester before matriculating to Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he read Moral Science and Theology, with the aim of becoming a priest. Reading the works of philosophers such as Albert Camus led him to change his mind, and after gaining a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts he instead went into journalism.
While writing for a trade press department Gummer found that he enjoyed the business side of things far more than the journalism, and decided to go into business. After several years working for other companies he founded a public relations (PR) firm called Shandwick in 1974, serving as its Chairman. Within seven years Shandwick was the largest PR company in the United Kingdom, and in 1984 it became publicly listed. In 1998 it was sold to the Interpublic Group of Companies, and is now part of Huntsworth. Initially chairman of Huntsworth, Gummer was appointed chief executive on 25 September 2005 after the resignation of Richard Nichols, the group's previous chief executive. Gummer left this position on 12 May 2005, instead becoming an executive director.
As well as his public relations work Gummer is also a non-executive director of Britax, a former director of Halifax and a visiting fellow at the University of Gloucestershire. He has been made a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Institute of Directors, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society of Arts. In September 1996 Gummer became Chairman of the Royal Opera House. Following a report by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee led by Gerald Kaufman which described the management of the Royal Opera House as "abysmal" with "incompetence, disastrous financial planning and misjudgement", Gummer resigned in December 1997. On 16 October 1996, he was created a Conservative working peer, with the title of Baron Chadlington, of Dean in the County of Oxfordshire. In 2011, David Cameron bought a plot of land from him for £140,000.
From 1999 until 2007, Gummer was a Director of the original Action on Addiction in London, a charity and addiction research center investigating drug and alcohol dependence. He also served on their Board of Trustees. In 2007, the original Action on Addiction (established in 1989) merged with The Chemical Dependency Centre (established in 1985) and Clouds (established in 1987). The single charity, dedicated to the research and treatment of drug and alcohol dependence, took on the name Action on Addiction.
He married Lucy Dudley-Hill, 15 years his junior, on 23 October 1982. They met after she came to Shandwick for a job interview, and after five days they were engaged. They have four children; Naomi, born 10 January 1984, Chloe, born 17 November 1985, Eleanor, born 5 August 1988 and James, born 4 August 1990.
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