Archie Norman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archie Norman
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
In office
2 February 2000 – 18 September 2001
Leader William Hague
Preceded by John Redwood
Succeeded by Theresa May (Transport, Local Government and the Regions)
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells
In office
2 May 1997 – 11 April 2005
Preceded by Patrick Mayhew
Succeeded by Greg Clark
Personal details
Born (1954-05-01) 1 May 1954 (age 62)
Dover, England
Political party Conservative
Children 1 daughter
Alma mater University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Harvard Business School

Archibald John Norman (born 1 May 1954) is a British businessman and politician. He is, at present, the only person to have been a FTSE 100 chairman, and an Member of the House of Commons (MP) at the same time.[1] On 18 November 2009, Norman was announced as the new chairman of ITV plc. He took up his post in January 2010.


Born as the second of five sons of two doctors,[1] Archie Norman was educated at Charterhouse, the University of Minnesota, Emmanuel College, Cambridge and (after a short period at Citigroup), at Harvard Business School, where he obtained an MBA.[2]

Business career[edit]

Norman joined McKinsey & Company on graduation, where William Hague (future British Foreign Secretary) was one of his protégés.[3] He then held directorships at Geest and Railtrack, before becoming group finance director at Britain's then largest retailer, Kingfisher plc at 32. Within five years he was group chief executive of Asda and by 42, he was chairman.

In December 1991 he applied for and gained the Chief Executive's position at Asda, the only applicant for a near bankrupt business.[4] From 1991 until 1999, Norman was Chief Executive and then Chairman of Asda, the large supermarket chain, and with Allan Leighton is credited with turning it around and making it the second largest in the United Kingdom before its sale to Wal-Mart in July 1999.

In November 1999, he stepped down from the chain.[5] From the early nineties, Norman was also chairman of The Children's Trust and in 1998 was succeeded by Sir Brian Hill.[6]

Political career[edit]

In 1996, on the advice of Francis Maude, Norman decided to apply for the Conservative safe seat of Tunbridge Wells, soon to be vacated by Sir Patrick Mayhew. Norman was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells in England, in the 1997 General Election, with a majority of 7,506.

After the heavy Conservative defeat in the 1997 Election, Norman supported William Hague's bid for leadership, becoming Chief Executive of the Conservative Party, and then served as a shadow minister for the environment in 1999. A year later he was promoted to the Conservative frontbench as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions, where he was up against John Prescott on the Labour front bench.

In September 2001, after leaving the Shadow Cabinet, he founded the think tank Policy Exchange with Francis Maude. In July 2002, Norman became Chairman of Energis, having led a consortium of banks in the purchase and refinancing of the United Kingdom arm of Energis Plc from the administrators. In May 2005, he stood down as MP in the general election.

Return to business[edit]

On leaving Parliament, Norman set up Aurigo Management, a private equity firm primarily focussed on retail/consumer industries. In July 2007, Aurigo bought tool hire retailer HSS Hire for £310 million, from 3i.[7] In November 2007, Norman advised Wesfarmers on the acquisition of Coles Group, and has since overseen the turnaround of Coles in Australia. On 18 November 2009, Norman was announced as the new chairman of ITV plc.


Norman sits on the Board of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. He is on the Board of the NIESR, has an Honorary Degree from Leeds Metropolitan University, was a Director of the Judge Institute, has been elected to the Marketing Society Hall of Fame, and been voted Retailer of the Year and Yorkshire Businessman of the Year. In December 2010, he was granted the Institute of Turnaround Professional Lifetime Achievement Award.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Married with one daughter, he has homes in Yorkshire, London, and the small island of lismore on the west coast of Scotland. His interests include farming, opera, fishing and tennis.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Exclusive MT interview: Archie Norman". Management Today. 3 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  2. ^ "If anyone understands the perils of modernising the Conservative Party it is Archie Norman". BBC News. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  3. ^ Roth, Andrew (20 March 2001). "Archie Norman". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  4. ^ a b Mathiason, Nick (11 June 2006). "Norman to the rescue - again". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Norman quits Asda". 10 November 1999. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Andrew Ross, Emmanuel College Magazine (2012-2013), pp 83-86
  7. ^ Verjee, Neelam (13 June 2007). "Archie Norman agrees to buy HSS for £310 million". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  8. ^ "Archie Norman to be ITV chairman". BBC News. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Patrick Mayhew
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells

Succeeded by
Greg Clark
Political offices
Preceded by
John Redwood
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Succeeded by
Theresa May
as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions