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Ian Wood (businessman)

Sir Ian Clark Wood, KT, GBE (born 21 July 1942) is a Scottish businessman and philanthropist. He is best known for his work in the North Sea oil industry with Wood Group, which he was largely responsible for transforming from a company of modest size, serving a primarily local market, to a large corporation with operations in over 50 countries. He served as Wood Group's chief executive from 1967 to 2006, and as chairman until 2012. Wood is one of Scotland's wealthiest people, with an estimated net worth of around £2.15 billion (2015).

Sir Ian Wood
Born (1942-07-21) 21 July 1942 (age 77)
Aberdeen, Scotland
EducationRobert Gordon's College
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen
Known forFormer CEO of Wood Group
Net worth£2.15 billion
Spouse(s)Helen Wood

In 2007, Wood and his immediate family set up The Wood Foundation – a venture philanthropy organisation.

Early lifeEdit

Wood was born in Aberdeen on 21 July 1942[1] and educated at Robert Gordon's College, and then the University of Aberdeen, where he studied psychology and graduated in 1964.[2]


After leaving university he joined the family business, becoming managing director in 1967.[2] He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1982 New Year Honours[2] and was knighted in the 1994 New Year Honours.[3]

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Aberdeen in 1984, The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in 1998,[2] Glasgow Caledonian University in 2002,[2] and Heriot-Watt University in 2012.[4] Since 2004, he has served as Chancellor of the Robert Gordon University.[2]

In April 2010, Aberdeen City Council accepted his conditional investment of up to £85m (£50m confirmed, £35m pledged should the project exceed its budget), towards a project of £140m to redesign the Union Terrace Gardens,[5][6] The project was supported by some local businesses though opposed by a large number of local residents.[citation needed] The Union Terrace Gardens project was passed by referendum[7] but was later rejected by the council.[8]

In July 2012, Wood announced that he would retire as chairman of Wood Group, with Allister Langlands as his successor.

In 2014, Wood had a net worth of £1.32 billion.[9] Wood is chairman of The Wood Foundation, investing in two areas of activity: making markets work for the poor in sub-Saharan Africa and developing young people in Scotland. The Foundation applies the principles of venture philanthropy, investing both money and expertise to achieve systemic change.

Wood was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to the oil and gas industry.[10] In June 2018 he was appointed Knight Companion of the Order of the Thistle (KT) in the 2018 Birthday Honours.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Wood has three sons with his wife Helen, and six grandchildren. They have a second home at Loch Tummel, Perthshire.[12]

Honours and awardsEdit


  1. ^ "Ian Clark WOOD". Debretts. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Robert Gordon University appoints Sir Ian Wood as new Chancellor RGU News Release, 12 April 2004
  3. ^ "No. 53741". The London Gazette. 22 July 1994. p. 10497.
  4. ^ "Summer Graduations 2012". Heriot-Watt University. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Aberdeen's Gardens scheme backed". BBC. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Union Terrace Gardens radio adverts 'breached broadcast rules'". BBC News. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Union Terrace Gardens development that divided Aberdeen is thrown out by two votes". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Seven billionaires on Rich List in Scotland". BBC. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  10. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B7.
  11. ^ "No. 62310". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 June 2018. p. B2.
  12. ^ "Workaholic Sir Ian finally keeps promise to retire". Heraldscotland. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2014.