Steve Tappin

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Steve Tappin
Born Harrogate, U.K.
Occupation CEO of Xinfu [1], host of BBC's CEO Guru series on BBC World, and author of The Secrets of CEOs

Steve Tappin (born Harrogate) is a CEO coach and the host of the BBC World television series, 'CEO Guru'. Tappin is also co-founder and CEO of Xinfu and author of 'The Secrets of CEOs' series.

Current focus[edit]

Through Xinfu, Tappin works with FTSE100, Fortune500 and 'Unicorn' companies.

Tappin's mission is to partner with CEOSs to create super returns (200-500+%) and united organisations which make a meaningful difference to the world. Working across the whole CEO agenda, he shares emerging best practice and stretches the aspirations of CEOs. From 2008 - 2015, Xinfu clients vs. relative FTSE share price performance was an increase of 543% (69% TSR p/a).

The BBC CEO Guru is broadcast worldwide on BBC World News. The programme is in its eighth series so far. It features interviews with the most successful global business leaders.

Tappin is a top 100 LinkedIn influencer and is also a passionate Leeds United fan!


Tappin is a co-founder and CEO of Xinfu.

BBC CEO Guru[edit]

The BBC CEO Guru is in its 8th series, and a 9th series is planned for the second half of the year.

The series features Tappin interviewing some of the world's most prominent CEOs, sharing CEO best practice and the latest advancements on the global CEO agenda.

The format consists of several short films, plus associated web articles for BBC World News TV, BBC.COM, BBC Capital and BBC News online. These networks reach an audience of hundreds of millions across the globe.

Previous interviewees include: Richard Branson, Jeff Immelt (GE), Liu Chuanzhi (Lenovo), Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite), Sir Martin Sorrell (WPP), Walter Robb and John Mackay (Whole Foods), Guo Guancgchang (Fosun), Wang Shi (Vanke), and Paul Walsh (Diageo).

Several episodes have featured specific CEOs and their organisations including, WholeFoods (from the USA) and FoSun (from China).

In October 2014, the CEO Guru won an award for a special episode that featured the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC). The CEC is a prestigious network of 52 of China's most elite entrepreneurs, whose businesses have a total equivalent wealth that is representative of 4% of China's GDP. Members include: Jack Ma of Alibaba, Wang Jianlin of Wanda, Liu Chuanzhi of Lenovo, Li Shufu of Geely.

Tappin is the first westerner to gain access to the CEC.

LinkedIn global influencer[edit]

Tappin is one of LinkedIn's 100 global influencers, alongside, Richard Branson, Barack Obama, Jack Welch, David Cameron, Jeff Immelt, Ban Ki Moon, Sir Martin Sorrell, Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington. Since becoming an influencer, Tappin's posts have attracted over 10 million views. One article was in the 'Top 30 articles' to have ever of featured on Linkedin and attracted over 750,000 in two days.

Tappin is the most featured CEO expert, focusing on CEO best practice and CEO situations.

The Secrets of CEOs[edit]

In 2008, Tappin co-wrote "The Secrets of CEOs – 150 leaders on business, life and leadership" ( no 1 ranking business book on day of launch), with Andy Cave. The updated addition includes interviews with 200 CEOs including: John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, Ben Verwaayen, Michael Dell, Narayana Murthy, Liu Jiren, Sir Martin Sorrell and Carolyn McCall. Richard Branson wrote the foreword for the book.[1]

Tappin is the first westerner to gain interview access to Chinese CEOs and wrote "Secrets of Chinese CEOs" and 'Dreams to Last". Through his unique experience, he brings to life the motivations of Chinese leaders, understanding how they tick and how to best work with them.

Global CEO expert, speaker and conference host[edit]

Tappin is a global CEO expert and is invited to be a keynote speaker at some of the most prestigious global forums including: World Retail Congress, SuperReturns, HRTech and Leaders in London/India. During these keynotes Tappin brings to life the Secrets of CEOs to audiences of thousands and hosts CEO panels with participants including Richard Branson.

Tappin is a conference host for corporate, global conferences. Corporate clients include: BBC/ WPP/ Ogilvy and Mather. Private equity clients include: Bain Capital, CVC and Terra Firma. Tappin brings to life different CEO types and how to connect with them in an impactful and entertaining format.

Expert on Chinese CEOs and ambassador[edit]

Tappin is a China expert and a trusted confidant to many of the Western MnCs. He is an honoured and trusted friend to many of China's domestic entrepreneurs.

Tappin was recently appointed as one of China's Leading Lights by the British Council and was an ambassador for the London 2012 Olympics.

Early career[edit]

Tappin began his career with the chemical giant ICI, working from the bottom to the top on a fast track management scheme. ICI's fortunes turned around under the leadership of Sir John Harvey-Jones. After he left, Tappin was mentored by Sir John Harvey-Jones.[2] Some of the problems he encountered as part a large global company convinced him that there must be a better way to lead global companies and that the start point for that must be the CEO.

Tappin also set up his own company, Edengene, which helped large corporations set up new businesses. During this time Edengene helped British Telecom set up BT Broadband. Edengene work Management Consultancy Association Awards for Best small business and best assignment.

In his late 20s and early 30s he worked as a consultant and managing partner in KPMG, PA Consulting and Heidrick and Struggles. It was here he noticed these global professional services firms faced similar challenges to the major corporations they advised. This motivated Tappin to create Xinfu - a "2.0" professional services firm that works with CEOs to co-create value as a partner, personal confidant and friend.

For over 25 years, Tappin has continued his quest to develop and bring to life a better way of leading companies in close partnership with CEOs, for some of the biggest and fastest growing companies in the world.

References and footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]