Meet the leaders of industry at UWE

Issue date: 23 May 2011


Sam Laidlaw, CEO, Centrica plc will share his views on socially responsible business leadership at the next talk in the University of the West of England’s Distinguished Executive Address Series on Tuesday 24 May 2011, 18.00 –20.30 at the University of the West of England's Frenchay Campus.

The Distinguished Executive Address Series 'Meet the Leaders of Industry' is organised by UWE's Bristol Business School. Leaders from key UK businesses and organisations talk to students and staff about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

Sam’s address will cover some of the challenges of balancing the expectations of shareholders with doing the right thing.

Centrica is positioned as the lowest carbon supplier of the major energy suppliers in the UK and is leading the Green agenda. Sam will draw on his experience of working in developing countries, and also in the UK energy sector where issues such as environmental impact and vulnerable customers need to be addressed.

Sam Laidlaw was born on 3 January 1956 and is married with four children. He has been Chief Executive of Centrica plc since July 2006.  Centrica is the parent company for British Gas and a significant gas producer and gas, nuclear and renewables electricity generator.   

Prior to that, from 2003-2006, he was Executive Vice President of the Chevron Corporation, a member of Chevron’s Executive Committee and was responsible for new business worldwide as well as regional responsibility for Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.  

In 2001-2002, Sam was Chief Executive of Enterprise Oil plc, Europe’s largest independent oil and gas company, which was sold to Shell in 2002. 

Before joining Enterprise, he spent 20 years with Amerada Hess after completing an MBA at INSEAD.  In 1983, he became a Vice President responsible for Amerada Hess’s North Sea business. In 1990, he became Executive Vice President responsible for all Amerada Hess’s international business and in 1995 he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Amerada Hess Corporation, an integrated Fortune 200 Oil & Gas company.

Sam Laidlaw is a non-executive director of HSBC Holdings plc, lead non-executive director at the Department for Transport, a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group, Chairman of the CBI Higher Education Task Force, Chairman of the UK Council of INSEAD, a former Vice President of the Institute of Petroleum and a former non-executive director of Hanson plc.

There will also be an opportunity for the audience to put forward their issues and questions.

This spring’s Distinguished Executive Address Series has seen inspirational talks from: Robert Walker, Chairman, Travis Perkins plc, David Flory, Deputy CEO, NHS England, Susan Taylor Martin, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters and Brendan Barber, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress.

Series organiser, Professor Nicholas O'Regan says, “We are delighted by the calibre of this year's speakers. The series is an excellent opportunity for members of the business community in Bristol, as well as our own students, alumni and staff to hear directly from important figures in industry with a wealth of strategic experience and leadership skills at the highest level.”

The Autumn Distinguished Executive Address Series will begin in October, talks are free to attend and open to UWE students, staff, alumni and members of the business community. For future dates, videos from previous speakers and further information visit: Distinguished Executive Address

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