January 09, 2020


Tim Roberts’ role as Chief Executive Officer of Henry Boot PLC came into effect on the 1st January. He takes over from John Sutcliffe, who served as CEO from 2016 and will continue as Director going forward.

We sat down with Tim to find out more about British Land’s former Director, what attracted him to the Henry Boot Group, and why he’s excited to be joining us.

First things first, how did you get into the land, property and development industry?

I completed my A Levels, and thought I’d have a year out because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do! Following that I started to work for a regional estate agency in Doncaster, before going on to do a degree in urban state surveying. I then went down to London, a big thing for me being a Yorkshire boy, to work as one of 20 graduates for a company called Ribis Jones, which was the oldest surveying practice in the country at the time.

What did you think when the job came up and you looked at the Henry Boot brand?

It’s got history, so it’s a long-standing, solid, recognised brand with a strong track record of being commercially cute, reflected in its share performance. There’s an interesting mix of businesses that have lots of potential.

What would you say are your career highlights so far?

The biggest development I was involved in at British Land was the Leadenhall Building, AKA the Cheesegrater, one of the tallest buildings in the city, and I worked on that for about 15 years. We managed to buy the site, we got planning, and developed the building and let it. I think it played a part in shaping the London skyline.

What do you think of the Company now?

I’ve been through a pretty detailed process of selection, and as I’ve done that I’ve had glimpses of what the culture is within Henry Boot. I think I’m going to fit in well with that open, collaborative and trusting culture, but I also like it because it feels as though it has commercial purpose too. People want to do transactions, write contracts and want to get things done, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. I like to think I’m a good cultural fit for the business, and hopefully the business is going to get on well with me!

How did you feel when you were offered the role?

Very, very pleased. I think that it’s exciting for me to come to a business that has such a history, that’s a privilege. For me, it’s a diverse business as well, a wider business that I’ve been involved in before. I think I’ve got some skills and experience that I can bring to bear, but I’m also going to be able to learn some things and I’m looking forward to working with the team in order to learn about these new businesses, and to help shape them to create a sustainable future going forward.

What are you planning to do at Henry Boot?

Because the business is in such good shape, I think that my job primarily is to evolve the strategy. It’s early days, but I find it hard to imagine that I’m going to come in and make significant change, and that’s good. I want the business to be modern, progressive and open, attributes that are already here. I want us to keep our commercial acumen, and going forward I want us to focus on the strategic direction and priorities. If we have a view of where we want the business to be in five or ten years time, that may not be a perfect, correct view, but it will give us all a general direction going forward, something I think is important for the business and one of the major responsibilities that a CEO and the Board of a business has.

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