UWE awards honorary degree to Ruby McGregor-Smith

Issue date: 21 July 2011

Ruby McGregor-Smith

The University of the West of England will award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration to Ruby McGregor-Smith in recognition of her significant national and local contribution to business through the distinctive culture she has created within MITIE.

The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law on Friday 22 July at Bristol Cathedral.

Born in Lucknow, India, Ruby graduated from Kingston University in 1985 and qualified as an accountant in 1990.

Ruby undertook her professional training with Stoy Hayward, before moving on to undertake a range of commercial and financial roles within Serco Group PLC. She was instrumental in a number of Serco Group's successful business development and Public Private Partnership arrangements.

In 2002, Ruby moved to MITIE, a FTSE 250 strategic outsourcing and energy services company, where she joined the Board as Group Finance Director. In 2005, she was promoted to Group Chief Operating Officer, and in 2007 to Chief Executive. In this role Ruby joined a small number of women holding the position of Chief Executive in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, and she is the first Asian woman to be appointed in such a role within that group of companies.

Since joining MITIE, she has seen the company grow its revenue from £0.5bn to over £1.8bn, continuing its unbroken track record of profit and revenue growth. Ruby's role has seen her challenge the practices of a small growth business, introducing new and more robust systems, developing the commercial success of the business, recruiting key personnel who would fit with MITIE's entrepreneurial culture, and influencing its acquisition strategy.

Ruby has been able to grow the business whilst maintaining the founding principles of rewarding success and offering opportunity to people whatever their background. She has enabled MITIE to continue its equity reward structures and is working to put in place new, wider reward mechanisms to attract and retain talent across the company.


Back to top