Ian MacLaurin, Baron MacLaurin of Knebworth

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The Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth
Born (1937-03-30) 30 March 1937 (age 81)
Blackheath, Kent, United Kingdom

Ian Charter MacLaurin, Baron MacLaurin of Knebworth DL FRSA (born 30 March 1937) is a British businessman, who has been chairman of Vodafone and chairman and chief executive of Tesco. He is a former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, the current president of the Marylebone Cricket Club and a former Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.

He was a Conservative member of the House of Lords from 1996 until his retirement in 2017.

He is the father of the inventor, designer and entrepreneur Emily Brooke.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Ian MacLaurin was born in 1937 in Blackheath, Kent. He attended Shrewsbury House School[1] and Malvern College.

Malvern College



MacLaurin joined Tesco in 1959 as a management trainee, then held a number of more senior appointments in its retail operations before being appointed to its Board in 1970. He was appointed managing director in the 1970s and became chairman in 1985.

By the time of his retirement in 1997 Tesco had overtaken Sainsbury's to become the largest UK retailer. MacLaurin led Tesco away from the "pile it high, sell it cheap" business philosophy of founder Jack Cohen. He has claimed his most important act was appointing the right successor, Terry Leahy.[2]


MacLaurin joined Vodafone as a non-executive director in 1997, becoming chairman in July 1998. He stepped down on the merger with AirTouch Communications Inc in 1999, resuming his role a year later.

Upon his retirement from the board in July 2006, he became an adviser to the company. He was succeeded as chairman by Sir John Bond. He also became chairman of the Vodafone Group Foundation, an independent charitable trust set up to administer charitable and other donations on behalf of the company.


MacLaurin has always been enthusiastic towards sports. At Malvern College, he played in the First XI. In his 20s, he played Minor Counties cricket for Hertfordshire. From 1997 until 2002 he was the Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board[3] and is now Chairman of the Sport Honours Committee. MacLaurin is the current President of the Marylebone Cricket Club, holding office from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018.[4]

His son Neil MacLaurin has played first-class and List A cricket for Middlesex, as well as Minor Counties and List A cricket for Hertfordshire.


MacLaurin is a supervisory board member of Heineken International.[citation needed]

MacLaurin has been a Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.[citation needed] He is currently the chairman of the college council of Malvern College.[citation needed]

He is the president of The Enterprise Forum, a not-for-profit organisation that organises meetings between business and the Coalition government.[5]

Lord MacLaurin is also chairman of Paperless Receipts Ltd, a company whose system (eReceipts) powers the digital receipts and customer engagement programmes for retailers such as Argos, Monsoon Accesorize and northern UK supermarket Booths.[citation needed]

Honours and styles[edit]


He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1986. He was knighted in 1989,[6] and raised to the peerage for life in 1996 taking the title Baron MacLaurin of Knebworth, of Knebworth in the County of Hertfordshire.[7]

Styles of address[edit]

  • 1937–1986: Mr Ian MacLaurin
  • 1986–1989: Mr Ian MacLaurin FRSA
  • 1989–1996: Sir Ian MacLaurin FRSA
  • 1996–: The Rt Hon. The Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth FRSA


  1. ^ "The Making of Tesco: A Story of British Shopping". google.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Store wars 10 ways Tesco took the lead". The Guardian. Guardian Newspapers. 20 October 2004. p. 19. 
  3. ^ "Lord MacLaurin". Cricinfo. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Lord MacLaurin set to assume office as MCC President". Lord's. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Enterprise Forum". Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "No. 51720". The London Gazette. 2 May 1989. p. 5227. 
  7. ^ "No. 54560". The London Gazette. 24 October 1996. p. 14113. 

External links[edit]