Suzanne Heywood

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Suzanne Heywood
Suzanne Elizabeth Cook

(1969-02-25) 25 February 1969 (age 50)
Alma materSomerville College, Oxford
King's College, Cambridge
OccupationBusiness executive
Jeremy Heywood
(m. 1997; died 2018)

Suzanne Elizabeth Heywood, Lady Heywood of Whitehall (née Cook; born 25 February 1969) is a British executive and former civil servant. She has been managing director of the Exor Group since 2016 and chair of CNH Industrial since 2018.

Having sailed around the world with her family as a child, she studied at Somerville College, Oxford and King's College, Cambridge. Her early career was spent as a civil servant in HM Treasury. She then joined McKinsey & Company, where she rose to become a senior partner before leaving for Exor in 2016.

Early life and education[edit]

Suzanne Cook was born on 25 February 1969 in Southampton, England to Gordon Cook and Mary Cook (née Brindley).[1] From 1976 to 1986, she sailed around the world with her family in a schooner called Wavewalker.[1][2] In 1977, while recreating Captain Cook's third voyage, the ship was almost destroyed in a storm between Africa and Australia.[2][3] She was below deck and received a serious head injury, but the rest of her family and crew received only minor injuries; her father had been the only one on deck and was thrown overboard but was saved by his lifeline.[3] She undertook her secondary education through the Queensland Correspondence School, completing both the Junior Certificate and the Senior Certificate.[4]

Having returned to dry land, she matriculated into Somerville College, Oxford in 1987 to study zoology.[4] Her college tutor was Marian Dawkins.[4] She graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1990.[1] She then moved to the University of Cambridge, where she was a member of King's College, Cambridge, to undertake postgraduate studies.[1][5] She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1993: her thesis was titled "Filial imprinting in chicks: processes and stimulus representations".[6]


In 1993, Heywood joined Her Majesty's Treasury as a fast stream trainee.[1][4] In 1995, after two years of training, she was appointed private secretary to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury.[1] The Financial Secretary is responsible for direct taxation, and she would have also provided assistance to the Chancellor of the Exchequer when required.[2] From 1996 to 1997 she was a Grade 7 civil servant.[1]

In 1997, Heywood left the civil service and moved into the private sector, joining McKinsey & Company as an associate.[5] She became a partner in 2007.[1] She was made director (senior partner) in 2013 when she was appointed Global Head of the Organisation Design Service Line.[1][2] She left McKinsey & Company in 2016 to join the Exor Group as managing director.[5] She has additionally been chair of CNH Industrial since July 2018.[2] She is a Trustee of the Royal Opera House. [7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1997, the then Suzanne Cook married Jeremy Heywood.[1] Jeremy was a senior civil servant, who was Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service until shortly before his death in 2018.[8][9] Together they had three children, including twins.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Heidari-Robinson, Stephen; Heywood, Suzanne (2016). ReOrg: How to Get It Right. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. ISBN 978-1633692237.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Heywood, Suzanne Elizabeth, (Lady Heywood)". Who's Who 2018. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U281905. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Suzanne Heywood". CNH Industrial. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Sailing hero honoured 33 years on". BBC Local Gloucestershire. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Life before Somerville". Somerville College Report 2012-13. Somerville College: 51–57. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Profiles - Suzanne Heywood". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  6. ^ Cook, Suzanne Elizabeth (1993). "Filial imprinting in chicks: processes and stimulus representations". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library Board.
  7. ^ "Boards and committees". Royal Opera House.
  8. ^ "Heywood, Sir Jeremy (John)". Who's Who 2018. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U20034.
  9. ^ "'I will miss him more than I can say'". BBC News. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Baroness Bull
Ladies Succeeded by
The Baroness Osamor