BRE has appointed Chris Earnshaw FREng as Non Executive Chairman of the Group Board. With a distinguished corporate career in the telecoms industry, he primarily worked at BT where one of his principal achievements was leading on the 10-year, £28 billion transformation of the UK telecoms network from analogue to digital, which forms the backbone of today’s UK’s digital system.
As well leading the Group Board, Chris will use his considerable commercial and management expertise to drive the digital transformation of BRE’s products, services and operations.
“Chris has a great appreciation of where BRE fits in the world and where its ambitions lie”, said BRE Chief Executive Peter Bonfield. He will bring a fresh perspective to the group’s strategic direction, specifically with regard to digital, which is driving significant changes in the way we design, construct, operate and deconstruct buildings over their lifetime. New processes like Building Information Modeling (BIM) will transform everything we do – BRE will be taking advantage of Chris’s knowledge and expertise as we get ready for this new age of construction.”
Chris also brings with him significant experience of the fast moving global technology arena. In his earlier career he was founding CEO of a US based joint venture company that built and operated a global telecoms network, serving many of the Fortune 500 global companies. On his return to the UK he introduced new technologies and network services to BT, that paved the way for today’s broadband and internet services.
Chris is no stranger to issues around sustainability in the built environment. In the late 1990s he was a member of the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Environment Leadership Team, and he was also responsible for leading on BT’s environmental impact programme at a time when these issues were still emerging on the corporate world’s agenda.
Chris said “BRE is about building a better world through its significant programme of multidisciplinary research underpinned by engineering knowledge and know-how. From that it develops products, tools and standards that help the built environment sector to successfully tackle the many challenges it faces with climate change and adaption, resource depletion and mass migration to cities to name but a few. Having been involved with BRE as a Non-Executive Director for the past four years, I’m pleased to take up this role at such a highly respected organisation at a time when its expertise is needed more than ever.”
Chris takes up his role at BRE from January 2014.
For further information please contact Linda McKeown, BRE, Tel 01923 664569, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris graduated from Sheffield University in 1976 with a degree in Special Physics and began his career as a systems design engineer in Post Office Telecommunications. He progressed through different senior management roles and was appointed to the British Telecom (BT) UK Management Board in 1989.
In the mid 1990s, Chris was US-based as founding CEO of a joint venture company that built and operated a global telecoms network, serving many of the Fortune 500 global companies. During the later 1990s, he introduced new technologies and network services for BT, paving the way for today’s Broadband.
Chris served on BT’s Executive Management Board for over 10 years with responsibility for Networks and Systems and was chairman of the company’s Corporate Enterprise Venturing Board. He was also champion for BT’s environmental performance programmes, and was a member of the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Environmental Leadership Team.
Subsequent to moving from BT in 2002, he has provided advice on the development of the information economy and the convergence of telecoms and broadcasting to the UK government. He was non-executive chairman of the UK Police IT Organisation (2004-07).
Chris was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999, served as President of the IET from 2008-9 and received the IEEE’s Ernst Weber Medal in 2001 for his global leadership in telecoms.
A long time active promoter of closer industry-academia working, he was a director of the Chicago-based International Engineering Consortium for over 10 years and holds an Honorary Fellowship of University College, London, in recognition of his work in this area. Alongside his current role, Chris chairs several other companies, including Cranfield Aerospace Ltd and Cranfield Ventures Ltd, both subsidiaries of Cranfield University.