David Varney

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Sir David Varney
Born David Robert Varney
(1946-05-11) 11 May 1946 (age 72)
Nationality British
Education Brockley County Grammar School, Brockley SE4
Occupation Chairman of HM Revenue and Customs

Sir David Robert Varney (born 11 May 1946[1]) was the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs from its establishment in April 2005 to the end of August 2006. David Varney was named as a recipient of a knighthood in the 2006 New Year's honours list. In the same year he was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws (LL. D.) from the University of Bath.

Private sector career[edit]

After graduating in Chemistry from the University of Surrey, where he was President of the Students Union, David Varney joined Shell in 1968. In 1990 he was appointed Head of Marketing, Branding and Product Development for Shell International Petroleum and in 1991 was appointed a Managing Director of Shell UK with responsibility for downstream activities. He was appointed a Director of Shell International Petroleum in 1996.

In June 1996 Varney joined BG (formerly British Gas), as Chief Executive designate of the proposed BG plc and was appointed Chief Executive the following year, overseeing the successful demerger of Lattice plc. He was Chairman of mobile phone operator mmO2 between 2001 and 2004. He was also Chairman of Business in the Community and is president of the Chartered Management Institute.

HM Revenue and Customs[edit]

HM Revenue and Customs was formed from the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise in April 2005. David Varney was appointed as the first executive chairman of the merged organisation having carried out that role in a shadow capacity from October 2004.

David Varney's previous career as a private sector executive differs from the traditional career path of senior British civil service heads. On taking the role, Varney faced a number of key challenges including maintaining business-as-usual while delivering around 12,000 staff cuts under the Gershon Review and moving jobs out of the South-East of England under the Lyons Review.

Following the ending of his chairmanship of HM Revenue and Customs, David Varney took up a role at HM Treasury as a permanent secretary. In December 2006, he delivered the report "Service Transformation: a better service for citizens and businesses, a better deal for the taxpayer",[2] which aimed to improve the UK's service performance in interacting with citizens and businesses.


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2014. Sir David Varney, Chairman, HM Revenue and Customs, 2004–2006, 65 
  2. ^ The Varney Review,

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Nick Montagu
Chairman of the Inland Revenue
Succeeded by
As Chairman of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
Preceded by
Sir Richard Broadbent
Chairman of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise
Preceded by
As Chairman of the Inland Revenue and
Chairman of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise
Chairman of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
Succeeded by
Paul Gray