Business Secretary selects Sir Andrew Mackenzie for new UKRI Chair


Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has selected leading businessman and scientist Sir Andrew Mackenzie as the preferred candidate for chair of UKRI.

Sir Andrew has an impressive background in both science and business. Building upon a successful early career as an academic geochemist, he moved into industry and was Chief Executive of BHP, a global mining company, from 2013 to 2020. He is now Company Chair of Shell.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Sir Andrew’s impressive track record at the top tier of business will offer UKRI the strong, commercially-minded leadership it needs to cement our position as a global science superpower. I look forward to working closely with Sir Andrew as we unleash the firepower of UKRI to drive an innovation-led recovery across the United Kingdom. I’d also like to thank the outgoing chair, Sir John Kingman, for leaving an excellent legacy to build upon as we move forward.”

Sir Andrew MacKenzie said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored our dependence on research and innovation, and the exceptional contribution the UK has made to solutions the world can embrace. Meanwhile we continue to address the enormous challenge of climate change which will define our generation and the world we leave for our children. I am honoured to be offered the opportunity to help guide the work of UKRI and steward the extraordinary talent available in our universities, research institutions, charities, business and governments across the UK.”

Last year, Sir Andrew was knighted for his services to business, science, technology, and Anglo-Australian relations.