Former Minister of State for Trade and Investment
Lord Livingston of Parkhead is the Former Minister for Trade and Investment.
Lord Livingston became CEO of BT Group on June 1st 2008 after holding two key executive roles in the company which he joined in April 2002. He has served on the Board as Group Finance Director, and CEO BT Retail.
After going to school in Scotland, Ian studied Economics at Manchester University. He graduated at the age of 19 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He worked for Bank of America International and 3i before joining Dixons group plc in 1991. He was appointed Group Finance Director at Dixons at the age of 32, making him the youngest FTSE 100 director by some distance.
During his time with the company, Dixons enjoyed a period of dramatic international expansion, extending its operations into 11 countries through a mixture of acquisition and organic growth. Ian worked and lived for a time in the United States as Chief Financial Officer of the company’s $1billion dollar American subsidiary. In 1998 Ian’s Corporate Development Team launched “Freeserve”. He floated the business a year later in the first major European floatation of an internet company. Freeserve became a FTSE company which was sold for around £1.5 billion in 2001 (from an original start up cost of £240,000).
Lord Livingston Joined BT as Group Finance Director just 4 months after Ben Verwaayen took over as Group CEO. During the three years Ian spent in this post the company’s financial position was transformed. Operating cashflow improved from negative £88 million to positive £2.1 billion, debt reduced by £6 billion and costs fell by around £400m per annum.
In February 2005 Ian was appointed CEO of BT Retail which is responsible for all BT’s UK small and medium enterprise and consumer business, BT Ireland and BT Enterprises (a portfolio of businesses including BT Conferencing, BT Directories, BT Redcare and Dabs.com). BT Retail has revenues of more than £8 billion. Under Ian’s leadership the division profits turned around from an annual rate of double digit decline into double digit profit growth, with annual profits of around £1 ½ billion. This was achieved in a ferociously competitive market.
Lord Livingston lives in Hertfordshire with his wife, his son and daughter. He is a keen football fan, and is a director of Celtic football Club. He was also previously a director of Hilton Group plc (now Ladbrokes plc).