About us

Norman Walker

As well as founding Boardroom Business Success and acting as accomplished host and chairman, Norman Walker brings a uniquely tuned instinct for identifying, nurturing and counselling rising executive talents. Norman developed the vision for an experience-based leadership retreat that would fill the gap in business life knowledge for new CEOs and those on track to become chief executives. After a distinguished career in human resources management across international companies such as Kraft, Ford and Novartis, he specialized in organizational and top talent assessment and development as a senior adviser to TPG Capital and the founder of Ardfern AG. An expert in the successive challenges of executive careers, he is the co-author of the much-praised work Leadership Passages. You can find more details on his website www.ardfern.ch

The richly experienced faculty includes:

Tracy Long

Dr. Tracy Long is the founder of Boardroom Review, which was established in 2004 to give independent advice on the effectiveness of the Board and its Committees. Tracy has conducted over one hundred and sixty evaluations across PLC, mutual, privately owned and public sector organisations in the U.K. and Europe. She is an advisory director of Carnegie Hall a Trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust, and a council member of Marlborough College.

Tracy has recently retired from the Board of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, where she was Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee, and a member of the Remuneration Committee. She was a founding director of Avalon Productions and Classic FM. Previous board roles have included Central European Media Enterprises, eleven BskyB joint ventures, Botts & Co. Private Equity, the Van Tulleken Company, Nesta, Lowland Investment Company plc, the London Symphony Orchestra, The King’s Consort (chairman), the Noel Gay Organisation, the development board of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

John Oliver

John Oliver is a former TPG partner and led TPG’s European Operating Group until December 2013. Prior to joining TPG in 2006, John spent 15 years with General Electric. His roles at GE included CEO of GE Equipment Services Europe, a diverse portfolio of businesses operating in 20 countries and CEO of GE IT Solutions Europe, an IT infrastructure and services provider, which was turned around and sold under his leadership. Prior to this he held various roles at GE Medical Systems including GM EMEA Services, VP Global Radiation Therapy and VP Global Vascular Systems. He started his career in 1981 with Schlumberger oilfield services, holding various technical and country general management roles in Africa and Asia-Pacific, then worked for the Boston Consulting Group before joining GE. John was appointed a non-executive director of the Company in October 2009 and has been Chairman of the board since 2011. He is also a Senior Advisor to TPG and provides strategic advice to companies in W. Europe and Russia.He graduated with a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College in 1981, and received an MBA from INSEAD in 1987.

Kati Najipoor-Schütte

As the leader of Egon Zehnder’s Global CEO Practice, Kati Najipoor-Schütte directs CEO search and succession planning engagements for major public companies, family-owned and private equity-backed organizations across all industry sectors and regions. With over 20 years of global advisory experience in boardrooms, she works closely with chairmen and CEOs on leadership assessment and development strategies to develop robust CEO succession pipelines, manage the CEO transition and build world-class senior executive leadership teams. Leveraging her work with organizations from across Europe, the Americas and Asia, Kati provides board clients with extensive global benchmarking capability and in-depth knowledge of the CEO talent pool.

Kati provides expert counsel to boards on succession planning and recruitment for the Chairman and non-executive directors and has extensive experience in board composition and diversity strategies. Kati has been instrumental in helping global organizations increase director diversity; her engagements include recruiting the first woman non-executive director for one of Germany’s largest publically traded companies.

Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Kati held senior roles in industrial and automotive consulting firms in Europe and the United States, where she led large-scale strategic, change and benchmarking projects. She also held technical management positions at European and U.S. engineering companies. Kati, who is based in the firm’s Frankfurt office, earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Aachen in Germany, a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Portland.

Norman Drummond

From the gangland areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh as a young Minister to the present day as a celebrated international speaker and author, Norman Drummond’s life and work embodies a personal commitment to leadership and to developing talent in others. Norman is Founder and Chairman of Columba 1400 and of Drummond International. He is also a non-Executive Director of his 5th generation family shipping company J & J Denholm Limited.

A former Headmaster of Loretto and former BBC National Governor, Norman currently Chairs the WW1 Scottish Commemorations Panel and is the Special Representative for Scotland on the UK WWI Centenary Committee. He is a Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Visiting Professor of Leadership in Education at the University of Edinburgh.

In The Queen’s Birthday Honours List of June 2014 Norman was honoured to be appointed a CBE for Public and Voluntary service particularly to Young People. His latest book “Step Back… finding the way forward in life” was published in May 2015.

Claire Dale

Claire is a graduate of the Laban Centre and her training is in Contemporary Dance, Anatomical Release Technique, Yoga and Classical Ballet. She has also studied Voice with Yvonne Morley formerly head of Voice at LAMDA. In addition she draws on knowledge of the Alexander Technique, Laban Movement Analysis and studies in Dance and Critical Analysis at MA level at Surrey University in Guildford. Claire is an experienced facilitator and inspirer of large and small-scale dance projects. She has been working in the corporate field for 11 years, teaching how our movement, body language and voice relate to the business world and influence our performance at work.

Torsten Busse

Torsten is Head of the Division Internal & External Engagement, of the Director Generate Communications at the European Central Bank (ECB), in Frankfurt, Germany, where he leads a team of close to 40 professionals focused on making the ECB understood to the citizens of the euro area. Prior to joining the ECB in September 2018, he worked at the strategic communications firm Brunswick Group as a Director starting in 2010. At Brunswick he specializes in employee engagement, management communications and media relations. Prior to Brunswick, he worked for 11 years at SAP SE in various communications functions, including head of employee communication, and head of organizational development. Before joining SAP, he spent seven years as a newswire reporter for IDG in San Francisco and Munich, covering the information technology industry.

Diana Noble

Diana Noble is the former CEO of CDC, the British Government’s development investment arm focussed on Africa and South Asia. Diana’s background is in private equity, venture capital and international development. She was a partner at Schroder Ventures (now Permira) for 12 years, founder CEO of e-Ventures and founder Managing Director of Reed Elsevier Ventures. She joined CDC after 5 years with the Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative, where she took a number of roles, including EVP Operations, responsible for 43 countries and 5 global teams and oversaw the scale-up of a global program to give children equal access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment to that available to adults. Diana has a first class Law degree and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.