Ruby McGregor-Smith

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Ruby McGregor-Smith
Ruby McGregor-Smith CEO of Mitie Group plc.jpg
Born 22 February 1963 (1963-02-22) (age 51)
Residence London, England
Nationality British
Occupation CEO Mitie Group PLC
Spouse(s) Graham McGregor-Smith
Children 2

Ruby McGregor-Smith, CBE, is the CEO of Mitie Group PLC, a strategic outsourcing company headquartered in Bristol, UK.[1][2] She joined Mitie as Group Financial Director in 2002 and was appointed CEO in 2007. She is the only Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company.[3] She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to business and promoting diversity.[4] Her ten years at Mitie have seen a £1.5bn rise in the firm’s turnover, which passed the £2bn mark for the first time in 2012.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Ruby McGregor-Smith was born in 1963 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, in northern India.[5][7] She moved to the UK aged two with her mother, joining her father who was training as an accountant in London.[2][7] She grew up in Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow, attending Bentley Wood High School and Lowland Sixth Form College before graduating from Kingston University in 1985 with a degree in economics.[8]


Following university McGregor-Smith trained for six years as an accountant at BDO Stoy Hayward.[5] After qualifying, she joined Serco Group PLC, an outsourcing firm, in 1991, and worked there for nine years in a range of operational and financial roles.[7]

In 2002, after a brief spell at the facilities management firm Service Group International (SGI), McGregor-Smith joined Mitie Group PLC as Group Financial Director.[2] In 2005 she was promoted to Group COO, and became CEO two years later[3][8] when her predecessor Ian Stewart retired to take over the role of Deputy Chairman.[9] As the first Asian female chief executive of a FTSE 250 company, the appointment received extensive press coverage.[8][10]

McGregor-Smith’s tenure as CEO has seen Mitie’s top and bottom lines grow every year, boosted by strong demand for energy efficiency services. [2][7] She was quick to identify energy management as a source of future growth: the 2009 acquisition Dalkia UK, a facilities management firm specialising in energy services, significantly boosted Mitie’s strength in this niche market.[7] Internal initiatives at Mitie in which McGregor-Smith has personal involvement include ‘Mitie’s Got Talent’, a company-wide talent contest; and ‘Mitie Millions’, at which she and finance director Suzanne Baxter judge budding entrepreneurs with up to £5m to invest in the winners.[1][8] The only non-executive directorship she holds is on the board of recruitment firm Michael Page.[3]

Charitable and community interests[edit]

Ruby McGregor-Smith chairs the Development Board of the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank, and is an ambassador of ‘Raising the Roof’, a Great Ormond Street Hospital charity.[4][5]

McGregor-Smith also chairs the Women’s Business Council, a one-year working group that seeks to maximise women’s contribution to economic growth. [11]

Her views on gender diversity in management have been widely reported in the mainstream media, specifically her opposition to positive discrimination in the form of quotas.[6][8] She urges companies to select managers based on talent alone, and asserts that support and flexibility for new mothers is the key to gender equality on the boards of large firms.[6]

She is a member of both the President’s Committee and the Public Services Strategy Board of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).[4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2007 Ruby McGregor-Smith was named First Woman of Business Services at the Real Business/CBI First Women Awards.[12]

In 2008 she won Business Women of the Year at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards.[13]

In 2009, 2010 and 2011 she was ranked 32nd, 35th and 33rd in the Financial Times Top 50 Women in World Business.[14]

In 2010 she was named Business Woman of the Year at the Women in Public Life Awards.

In 2011 she was named Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards.[15]

Also in 2011 she was named Orange Leader of the Year at the UK National Business Awards and Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards, and was awarded honorary doctorates from Kingston University and the University of the West of England.[15][16][17][18]

In March 2012 McGregor-Smith was awarded a CBE for services to business and diversity in business.[4]

In February 2013 she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 2013 Power List of the 100 most powerful women in the UK.[19]

In November 2013 McGregor-Smith was made Chair of the Public Services Strategy Board for the CBI.[20]

In January 2014 she was made a member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission.[21]

In February 2014 she was appointed a UK Business Ambassador for UKTI.[22]

Personal life[edit]

McGregor-Smith has been married to Graham McGregor-Smith, a trained opera singer, since 1990. They have two children, a daughter and a son.[3]


  1. ^ a b Cave, Andrew (26 May 2012). "Mitie's Ruby McGregor-Smith:. 'let's show support for our risk-takers'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d de Vita, Emma (1 January 2010). "The MT Interview: Ruby McGregor-Smith of Mitie". Management Today. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Crow, David (26 March 2012). "The Mitie boss who says board quotas are not the answer". City AM. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Cisco CIO Summit 2013 Website
  5. ^ a b c d Crow, David. "Ruby McGregor Smith CBE". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Campbell, Peter (12 September 2012). "'Talent key on boards': Why Mitie boss Ruby McGregor-Smith opposes push towards female quotas for directors". This is Money. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e West, Karl (29 April 2010). "Interview: Mitie's Ruby McGregor-Smith". This is Money. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Ruby-Mcgregor-Smith - A MITIE Woman". Coutts Bank. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mitie Group names Ruby McGregor-Smith CEO, succeeding Ian Stewart". AFX News Limited. 31 Jan 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Lea, Robert (17 December 2012). "The boss who saw red over inequality in boardroom". The Times. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  11. ^ May MP, The Rt Hon Theresa (13 March 2012). "Business council will boost women's role in economy". Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  12. ^ First Woman Awards Website
  13. ^ First Woman Awards Website
  14. ^ FT top 50 women in world business
  15. ^ a b Asian Achievers Awards Website
  16. ^ National Business Awards Website
  17. ^ Kingston University Website
  18. ^ Bristol UWE Website
  19. ^ BBC Power List 2013
  20. ^ FMJ Website
  21. ^ Website
  22. ^ UKTI Website