Ian Cheshire (businessman)

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Sir Ian Cheshire
Sir Ian Cheshire.jpg
Born Ian Michael Cheshire
(1959-08-06) 6 August 1959 (age 59)
Residence Wandsworth, South London
Nationality British
Education The King's School, Canterbury
Alma mater Christ's College, Cambridge
Occupation Chairman, Debenhams
Chairman, Barclays UK
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Kate Cheshire
Children 3

Sir Ian Michael Cheshire (born 6 August 1959) is a British businessman, who has been chairman of the British department store retailer Debenhams since April 2016. He also serves as chairman of Barclays UK, the ring-fenced UK subsidiary of the Barclays Group. He was previously chief executive (CEO) of Kingfisher plc, a British multinational retailing company.


Cheshire was educated at The King's School, Canterbury, and graduated in economics and law from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1980.[1]


Cheshire's first job was with Boston Consulting Group, before working for Guinness, as Ernest Saunders' executive assistant, and Sears, before joining Kingfisher as strategy director in 1998.[2]

In January 2008, Kingfisher appointed Cheshire as group chief executive.

In 2012, Cheshire won The Guardian Sustainable Business Leader of the Year award. His vision of B&Q "customers renting power drills as opposed to buying them" (drills are used for a mere six minutes a year on average) has captured imaginations, and is a widely used example of a mainstream business adopting a more collaborative approach to its products and services.[3]

He was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to business, sustainability, and the environment.[4]

In September 2014, it was announced that Véronique Laury would replace Cheshire as CEO of Kingfisher from February 2015.[5][6]

In January 2015 it was announced that he would succeed Lord Browne as lead non-executive director for the government. He is also the senior independent director of Whitbread plc, chair of Menhaden plc and the chair of the advisory board of the Cambridge institute of sustainability leadership.[citation needed]

In January 2016 he was nominated as chairman-elect of Debenhams, the international department store group.[7] On 7 April 2016, he succeeded Nigel Northridge who had been chairman since April 2010.[8]

Personal life

Cheshire and his wife Kate have homes in London and in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.[9]


  1. ^ "Cheshire, Sir Ian (Michael), (born 6 Aug. 1959), Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc, 2008–15." WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO
  2. ^ "Kingfisher chief Ian Cheshire has built the DIY chain back up again". The Telegraph. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Ian Cheshire: sustainable business leader of the year". The Guardian. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  4. ^ "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 1.
  5. ^ Farrell, Sean (10 September 2014). "Kingfisher names French DIY boss Véronique Laury as new chief executive". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  6. ^ Felsted, Andrea (10 September 2014). "Véronique Laury unexpected choice for Kingfisher crown". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  7. ^ Armstrong, Ashley (14 January 2016). "Debenhams hires Sir Ian Cheshire as its new chairman". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Debenhams hires Sir Ian Cheshire as its new chairman - Telegraph". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  9. ^ Craven, Neil. "B&Q chief Ian Cheshire and his growth masterplan". This is Money. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
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