Rupert Soames

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Rupert Soames

Born
Rupert Christopher Soames

(1959-05-18) 18 May 1959 (age 64)
Croydon, Surrey, England
EducationEton College
Alma materWorcester College, Oxford
OccupationBusinessman
Years active1982–present
Spouse
Camilla Dunne
(m. 1988)
Children3
Parent(s)Christopher Soames
Mary Churchill
RelativesWinston Churchill (grandfather)
Emma Soames (sister)
Nicholas Soames (brother)

Rupert Christopher Soames OBE (born 18 May 1959) is a British businessman and the former chief executive of Serco from 2014 to 2023.[1][2] He is a grandson of Winston Churchill, a nephew of one-time Defence Secretary Duncan Sandys and his wife Diana Churchill, of journalist Randolph Churchill, and of actress and dancer Sarah Churchill.

Early life and education[edit]

Soames was born in Croydon, to Christopher and Mary Soames. He is a grandson of Winston Churchill,[3] a nephew of one-time Defence Secretary Duncan Sandys and his wife Diana Churchill, of journalist Randolph Churchill, and of actress and dancer Sarah Churchill, and is a great-nephew of the founders of the Scout movement, the 1st Baron Baden-Powell and his wife, the Baroness Baden-Powell.

Soames was educated at St Aubyns School in Rottingdean, East Sussex, and Eton College, and then Worcester College, Oxford,[4] where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE).[5] While at Oxford he worked as a DJ at the London nightclub Annabel's and was a member of the Bullingdon Club,[6] as well as being elected to the Presidency of the Oxford Union[4] and featuring in the Sunday Times 1981 article on Oxford, where Soames described himself as getting "hog-whimperingly drunk".

Career[edit]

Upon graduation, he was offered a position at GEC by the managing director Arnold Weinstock. He remained at GEC for 15 years, working in the company's avionics and computing divisions, and became managing director of Avery Berkel, running the company's UK, India, Asia and Africa operations.[7]

After leaving GEC in 1997, Soames joined the software company Misys as chief executive of its Midas-Kapiti division. He was promoted to chief executive of the Banking and Securities Division in June 2000.[8]

Soames left Misys after a disagreement with Misys founder Kevin Lomax on the company's direction, and was appointed chief executive of power hire group Aggreko in June 2003,[9] replacing Philip Harrower, who died when his car collided with a train in the United States.[10] Soames left Aggreko in 2014.[11]

Soames was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[12]

In November 2010, he gave a speech at the Scottish Parliament in which he warned, "In the UK, we are already close to the rocks, because, over the next 8 years a third of our coal-fired capacity, two-thirds of our oil-fired capacity, and nearly three-quarters of our nuclear capacity will be closed down either through age or the impact of the European Large Combustion Plant Directive. Absent a massive and immediate programme of building new power stations, with concrete being poured in the next two years, we will be in serious danger of the lights going out."[13]

In December 2023, it was announced that Soames had been appointed as the new President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), taking up the position in early 2024.[14]

Personal life[edit]

He married Camilla Dunne, daughter of Sir Thomas Dunne, KG, KCVO in 1988. They have three children: Arthur, Daisy, and Jack. Daisy Soames is a god-daughter of Diana, Princess of Wales, and works as a horse safari guide in Kenya.[15] Jack Soames has served as a Page of Honour.[16] His brother is former MP Nicholas Soames, Baron Soames of Fletching.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brinded, Lianna. "Serco Replaces CEO Chris Hyman with Aggreko Boss Rupert Soames". International Business Times. IBT Media Inc. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  2. ^ Jolly, Jasper (12 September 2022). "Serco boss Rupert Soames to retire: 'It's time for me to outsource myself'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Can Winston Churchill's grandson save Serco? And is it worth saving? | Sam Knight". The Guardian. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "Presidents of the Union since 1900". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. pp. 527–532. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
  5. ^ Board Director Profiles, Serco, Accessed 6 May 2020.
  6. ^ General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down, The Independent, 5 May 2015.
  7. ^ Business profile: What it means to light up New Orleans, The Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2006.
  8. ^ "Press Release: Misys announces formation of new Group Operating Board". Misys plc. 1 September 2001. Retrieved 1 September 2001.
  9. ^ Johnston, Lachlan: Aggreko chief role for Rupert Soames, The Daily Telegraph, 4 June 2003.
  10. ^ Osborne, Alistair: Aggreko chief executive killed in Louisiana car crash, The Daily Telegraph, 31 December 2002.
  11. ^ Hill, Andrew; Plimmer, Gill (10 December 2017). "Rupert Soames: how I averted a crisis at Serco". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  12. ^ "No. 59282". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2009. p. 12.
  13. ^ "Rupert Soames speech at the Scottish Parliament". Aggreko. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  14. ^ a b "City veteran Rupert Soames to head scandal-hit CBI". www.ft.com. Retrieved 6 December 2023.
  15. ^ Sampson, Annabel. "From a prince to a prison reform campaigner, meet Princess Diana's godchildren". Tatler.
  16. ^ Koenig, Marlene Eilers (25 May 2010). "Royal Musings: Four pages at the State Opening of Parliament".