Bill Cockburn joined The Post Office as a management trainee in 1961. In 1981 he was appointed to the Post Office Board. He held various Board appointments including Finance Director, Managing Director Royal Mail and Group Chief Executive (1992-95). Bill subsequently became Group Chief Executive of WH Smith (1995-97) and Group Managing Director of BT plc with Board responsibility for all UK operations (1997-2001).
Since retiring from BT he has held a number of non-executive roles including, currently, Deputy Chairman, Business Post Group plc; Deputy Chairman and Senior NXD of AWG plc; and Chairman of the School Teachers Review Body. Previously he was Chairman of Parity Group plc and held non executive appointments with LEX Service plc; Centrica plc; Kymata Ltd; Yakara plc; Business in the Community; and Whitbread plc. He is a past President of the Institute of Direct Marketing.
Bill served in the TA for 26 years and was Colonel of the Postal and Courier Service of the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC). At present he is a past Honorary Colonel Commandant of the RLC. He was awarded the CBE in 1989 for services to British Industry.
Bill was the first Chairman of 33 St. James’s where he is now our Chairman Emeritus.