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Sir Ian Gerald McAllister CBE (born 17 August 1943)[1] is a Scottish businessman. Formerly Chairman of Ford Motor Company UK, he was appointed chairman of Network Rail in 2002 and stepped down from this post in 2009.[2]



McAllister was born in Glasgow to Ian Thomas and Margaret Mary McAllister. The family moved to Chorley, Lancashire when he was a child, and he received a Catholic education at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton.[3] McAllister graduated from the University of London in 1964, where he gained a BSc in Economics.[4]


McAllister joined Ford straight from university in August 1964, working his way from finance trainee through various positions in sales and marketing in the UK and Germany; before becoming the Marketing Director for Lincoln Mercury in the United States, returning to become Managing Director and latterly Chairman of the UK company which then encompassed just the Ford brand built at Dagenham. During his chairmanship, he returned the company to profitability from losses of £660Million in 1990,[2] but transferred production of the new Mondeo to Genk, Belgium under Ford's global brand program; while retaining Escort estate production at Halewood and Fiesta production at Dagenham.

Outside FordEdit

While chairman of Ford, he held various industry positions, including becoming President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. After retiring from Ford, McAllister has undertaken mainly Government orientated work, with his only non-executive post at Scottish and Newcastle.[5]

McAllister was appointed Chairman of Network Rail in October 2002 following the acquisition of Railtrack. On 3 October 2008, he announced that he will not stand for re-election to continue as chairman of Network Rail. He has held this position for six years. In making the announcement, Sir Ian noted that as Network Rail moves to a "new phase in its development," it is appropriate that there be a new chairman to lead it there.[6]

He was formerly: Deputy Chairman of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; a member of the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment; an Advisory Council member of The Management School, Imperial College; Chairman of the Carbon Trust (2001-2011); a member of the Energy saving trust;[7] a member of the Advisory Board of Victim Support.

Personal lifeEdit

Married to Susan with four children (three sons and a daughter), he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1996 New Year Honours and knighted in the 2008 New Year Honours. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University in July 1999.[4]

A committed Christian,[8] McAllister enjoys gardening, and is a supporter of Manchester United.[3]


  1. ^ "Weekend birthdays". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media & News. 16 August 2014. p. 49.
  2. ^ a b "Industries in Turmoil: Ian McAllister knows cars". The Independent. 26 March 2002.
  3. ^ a b "School old boy takes on tough railway job". Bolton Evening News. 10 October 2002.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Ian G. McAllister, CBE - Award of Honorary Doctorate of Technology". Loughborough University. 8 July 1999.
  5. ^ "Board of the Company". Scottish & Newcastle. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  6. ^ "Network Rail boss stepping down". BBC News. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  7. ^ "McAllister to become Chairman of the Carbon Trust". Ford Motor Co. UK. 12 February 2001. Archived from the original on 17 August 2005.
  8. ^ Mills, Dominic (6 December 1996). "Close-Up: Newsmaker/Ian McAllister; Hands-on Ford chairman fosters creative change". Campaign.