James Blyth, Baron Blyth of Rowington

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James Blyth, Baron Blyth of Rowington (born 8 May 1940)[1] is a British businessman.

The son of Daniel Blyth and Jane Power Carlton was educated in Speir's school and the University of Glasgow, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in history in 1963.

Blyth worked for Mobil Oil from 1963 to 1969, for General Foods from 1969 to 1971 and for Mars Foods from 1971 to 1974. Between 1974 and 1977, he was general manager of Lucas Batteries and between 1977 and 1981 general manager of Lucas Aerospace. He was also director of the Imperial Group from 1984 to 1986, managing director of Plessey Electronic Systems in 1985 and 1986, and managing director of the Plessey Company in 1986 and 1987. Blyth was a director of Cadbury-Schweppes between 1986 and 1990, of British Aerospace between 1990 and 1994, and of NatWest between 1998 and 2000.

In 1981, Blyth became head of defence sales for the Ministry of Defence, a post he held until 1985, when he was knighted.[2] From 1987 to 1996, he was a chairman of the London Business School (LBS), and to 1998 director and chief executive of The Boots Company. On 24 July 1995, he was created a life peer as Baron Blyth of Rowington, of Rowington in the County of Warwickshire.[3]

Blyth received an Honorary Doctor of Law from the Nottingham University in 1992. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, appointed in 1994, and a Fellow of the London Business School, appointed in 1998.

Lord Blyth of Rowington has been married to Pamela Anne Campbell-Dixon since 1967; they have one daughter and one deceased son.

He was chairman of Diageo, parent company of the Popov and Smirnoff brands of vodka, as well as Guinness malt beverages, until June 2008. He was succeeded by Franz Humer.



  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. Lord Blyth of Rowington, company chairman, 73 
  2. ^ "No. 50078". The London Gazette. 29 March 1985. p. 4499. 
  3. ^ "No. 54113". The London Gazette. 27 July 1995. p. 10299.