René Carayol

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René Carayol

René Carayol MBE (born 10 September 1958) is a business and leadership speaker, broadcaster, broadsheet columnist and author. René's focus is on inspirational leadership, culture and business transformation, bound together with a compelling philosophy founded on his own board level experience.

He presented the BBC series Did They Pay Off Their Mortgage in Two Years? and is the author of Corporate Voodoo.

Background & career[edit]

Born in The Gambia, the son of a diplomat, he was raised in the UK and now lives in London.

Carayol stated in Black Success Stories [1] that Alex Haley's historic novel, Roots, was based on Carayol family records.

René has served as an executive main board director for blue-chip companies and also the public sector, where he was a non-executive director of Inland Revenue. Starting with Marks & Spencer in 1982 and rising through the ranks to Senior IT Manager and Executive, he was headhunted by PepsiCo in 1992 and sat on the board of directors for Pizza Hut. He then joined IPC Electric as Managing Director and took the business from the concept stage through to the acquisition by AOL Time Warner. He was the first black person and first IT Director to have ever sat on the IPC board.

René was awarded an MBE in 2004 for outstanding service to the business community. He has provided leadership support to the British Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, and is now a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School.

Carayol has acted as an advisor to The World Bank, The United Nations, CBI, McKinsey & Co and Barclays, amongst many other organisations. He has chaired and addressed conferences across the world in the retail, financial, technology, energy and government sectors. He has also conducted the first onstage business interview with Sven-Göran Eriksson in 2003 and hosted The Sunday Times UK Business Week. He has continued to interview prominent people including Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Mikhail Gorbachev, Kofi Annan, Colin Powell and David Cameron in recent years.

René is also a business speaker and facilitator.

He is CEO of the Inspired Leaders Network (ILN) which was founded in 2000 and continues to be in public speaking.


As an author he has produced two books - Corporate Voodoo [2] in 2001 (now in its third edition) and the sequel, My Voodoo [3] in 2002 and more recently, "Spike - What are you great at?" . René has been a regular broadsheet columnist, and columnist writer for The Sunday Telegraph supplement Business Reporter.


René's television and radio career has seen him become a regular voice on BBC Radio 5 Live and present the critically acclaimed Channel 4 film The Man From The Met,[4] on the challenges facing Sir John Stevens at the helm of the Metropolitan Police. He is also a press reviewer on Sky Breakfast News and has been an expert witness on Mind of a Millionaire.[5]

Carayol is the presenter of BBC2's business program, Pay Off Your Mortgage In Two Years [6], which was shown in January and February 2006. The follow-up series Did They Pay Off Their Mortgage in Two Years? [7] began airing in January 2007.

He also presented The Money Programme special "The Fall of BP's Sun King" [8] in October 2007, investigating the real cause of Lord John Browne's resignation from BP.

René sat in for the Jon Gaunt radio show on Talksport from 11 to 15 August 2008.


He is a season ticket holder at Chelsea FC and sits in the West Upper Stand.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Zhana (2006). Black Success Stories Volume 1: Celebrating People of African Heritage: v. 1. Zhana Books. ISBN 9780952555834. 
  2. ^ Carayol, David Firth & René (2001). Corporate voodoo : business principals for mavericks and magicians. Oxford: Capstone. ISBN 978-1-84112-157-4. 
  3. ^ Carayol, René; Firth, David (2002). My Voodoo : a practical guide to unleashing the magic in you and your work. Oxford: Capstone. ISBN 9781841120102. 
  4. ^ "Man from The Met". 
  5. ^ "Mind of a Millionaire - IMDB". 
  6. ^ "BBC - Pay Off Your Mortgage in Two Years - Series 1". 
  7. ^ "Did They Pay Off Their Mortgage in Two Years? Series 2". 
  8. ^ "The Fall of BP's Sun King - BBC".