Archie Norman: Biography highlights
Archie Norman is best known for his role as former Chief Executive and Chairman of Asda Group Plc and for his work as non-executive chairman of ITV.
Full biography of Archie Norman
Archie Norman’s Background
Due to his experience in business and in politics, Archie Norman is a great public speaker with a wealth of knowledge. Having helped to retrieve several struggling businesses form the brink, he knows how to change situations for the better, using leadership skills to inspire staff and restore client confidence.
- Former conservative MP and Shadow Minister
- Chairman of ITV Plc
- Transformed the fortunes of Asda and Coles Group
- Awarded the Institute of Turnaround Professional Lifetime Achievement Award 2010
- Appointed as a Fellow of the Marketing Society Hall of Fame
- Awarded Retailer of the Year 1995-1996 and Yorkshire Businessman of the Year 1995
Norman is best known for his role as former Chief Executive and Chairman of Asda Group Plc and for his work as non-executive chairman of ITV.
Born on May 1st 1954 to parents who were both doctors, Archie had four siblings and attended the prestigious Charterhouse School in Surrey. He went on to study at the University of Minnesota and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
After graduating, Archie found a job at McKinsey & Co, where he worked with William Hague, among others.
He then spent some time as director for Geest and Railtrack before moving into the retail industry.
When he was 32, Archie began working for Kingfisher Plc as finance director.
Having obtained experience of management in the retail industry, Archie moved on to be chief executive and then director of Asda. Although the supermarket was struggling before he arrived, with hard work from Archie and colleague Allan Leighton, it soon started to recover. In 1999, Walmart purchased the increasingly successful supermarket chain.
As well as business ambition, Archie also had political aspirations and he was elected as Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells in Kent in 1997.
His interest in politics and business experience served him well and he became chief executive of the Conservative Party, supporting William Hague.
In 1999, Archie became a Shadow Minister for the Environment. He then went on to become Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions. He remained in the Shadow Cabinet for two years before moving on to work with Francis Maude, founding Policy Exchange, a think-tank and educational charity committed to the improvement of policies for the benefit of society.
Having held numerous leadership roles, Archie decided to set up his own business when he left politics. This new venture was Aurigo Management, a firm dealing with private equity in the retail market (the industry in which much of Archie’s experience lay).
Since leaving politics, Archie has held several prominent business roles. One of these was to act as an advisor to Wesfarmers, helping them to transform the Coles Group supermarket chain in Australia into a success. Just as he had with Asda years earlier, Archie was able to help turn the business around.
In 2009, he became Chairman of ITV plc.
With houses both in London and Yorkshire, Norman says he enjoys the countryside, spending his spare time fishing and playing tennis. He has a keen interest in farming. He is married and has a daughter.
He is on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and is also a board member of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). This organisation is an independent economic research group. He was awarded an Honorary Degree from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1995.