Interview with Brian McBride

Brian McBride was elected President of the CBI in 2022, bringing nearly 50 years’ experience of executive and advisory roles in major technology and commercial enterprises.  Brian’s career tracks and illuminates key developments in information and communications technology and how it has changed our lives: from office automation and mainframes to personal computers, mobile phones, internet and online services.  From his current position and experience he offers views on a range of contemporary issues.   

After graduating in 1976 Brian joined Xerox, selling photocopiers.  He moved to IBM in 1983, where he had senior roles in the UK and US for 10 years. In the 1990s Brian was involved in the evolution towards client-server computing, business PCs and networking at companies including as UK MD at Dell.  He joined T-Mobile in 2003, which he saw as, “… very exciting technologies that put the power of mainframe computers into the pockets of small businesses.” 

Brian was hired by Jeff Bezos in 2006 to be CEO of Amazon in the UK, where he oversaw the company’s transition from online sales of books and CDs to a vast range of products and services, such as Kindle and Prime and Amazon Web Services.  Brian rated Jeff Bezos — “… one of the most dramatic, revolutionary people on the planet.” 

Since Amazon, Brian’s portfolio includes numerous chair and NED roles including ASOS, Lazard, the BBC, and Celtic Football Club. Currently he is an NED at Standard Life Aberdeen; a senior adviser with Scottish Equity Partners; chairman of Trainline.com, the rail ticket booking platform; and lead independent director of the Ministry of Defence.