Sebastian James

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Sebastian James
Sebastian James.jpg
James in 2018
Sebastian Richard Edward Cuthbert James

(1966-03-11) 11 March 1966 (age 54)
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Other namesSeb
EducationEton College
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford
TitleCEO, Boots UK
Spouse(s)Anna James (née Gregory)
Children3 sons and 1 daughter
Parent(s)Lord Northbourne

Sebastian Richard Edward Cuthbert James (born 11 March 1966) is an English businessman, who was formerly CEO of Dixons Carphone,[1] and is the current CEO of Boots UK.

Early life and education[edit]

The son of Christopher James, 5th Baron Northbourne, he was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club with former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, and Boris Johnson.[2] He is a family friend of David Cameron.[3] The two were on holiday together in Italy in August 2011 when Cameron had to return to deal with the London riots. James was given a job in government on 5 July 2010, by Education Secretary Michael Gove, reviewing state school spending.[4][5] He earned an MBA from INSEAD in 1991.[6]


James started his career at Bain & Co, including being project leader with focus on retail and investment banking systems and transaction management. He has served as the Chief Executive of Synergy Insurance Services Limited and as strategy director responsible for developing and implementing the turnaround strategy at Mothercare.

He joined Dixons Retail in 2008 as development director managing its Currys transformation programme, becoming group CEO in 2012.[7]

James was appointed CEO of Dixons Carphone on 6 August 2014 following the merger of Dixons Retail with Carphone Warehouse.[8] He was recognised as the mobile industry person of the year for his achievements with the merger. [9]

James is also a non-executive director of Direct Line Insurance Group plc [10] and trustee of the charities Save the Children and Techknowledge for Schools.[11]

In January 2018, James resigned as CEO of Dixons Carphone, to run Boots UK, "in a surprise move days before it updates the City on its Christmas trading performance", and was succeeded by Alex Baldock, who had been CEO of the online retailer Shop Direct since 2012.[12][13]

Since 1 September 2018, James has been a senior vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance, and president and managing director of Boots.[13]


James married Anna Gregory in August 1998, and they have four children.


  1. ^ "Sebastian James: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Cameron's cronies: The Bullingdon Club's class of '87". The Independent. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Business interview: Seb James - the selfie-loving boss with plans to nurse Boots back to health". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  4. ^ Michael Gove, Education Secretary (5 July 2010). "Education Funding". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). UK: House of Commons. col. 49.
  5. ^ url= James Review of Education Capital Spending
  6. ^ ‘JAMES, Hon. Sebastian Richard Edward Cuthbert’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2013
  7. ^ "Executive Profile". Business Week. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Dixons and Carphone Warehouse announce £3.8bn merger - BBC News". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Sebastian James : Power50 2015 profile". 4 June 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  10. ^ "MOVES-Direct Line Insurance Group appoints Sebastian James to its board | Reuters". 28 August 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Officer Profile |". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  12. ^ Slawson, Nicola (20 January 2018). "Dixons Carphone CEO will step down to run chemist chain Boots". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b Editorial, Reuters. "Dixons Carphone CEO James quits for job at Boots". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
Business positions
Preceded by
Elizabeth Fagan
Managing Director of Boots UK
September 2018 -
Succeeded by