CBI launches change programme amid scandals and confidence vote

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) members are set to vote on the organisation’s future amid recent scandals. The business lobby group faced turmoil following serious sexual assault allegations made by employees. The CBI is now launching an “ambitious programme of change,” focusing on governance, culture, people processes, and refining its core purpose. Over 1,000 business leaders provided input on the group’s future through surveys, focus groups, and listening sessions. The confidence vote results will be announced at an extraordinary general meeting on June 6.

CBI Director General Rain Newton-Smith stated that “radical and rapid changes” were underway, and the organisation was “well on the road to recovery.” She emphasised the importance of a strong business voice in addressing the UK’s economic challenges, particularly with a general election approaching. The CBI aims to collaborate with its members on shared challenges, making the programme of change crucial.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the CBI had enlisted Principia, a business ethics consultancy, to assist in reviewing its culture. Additionally, the CBI’s board engaged lawyers to prepare for a potential insolvency filing. In April, the UK’s largest business group suspended most activities pending a review by law firm Fox Williams. Newton-Smith confirmed that the recommendations from this review were either completed or in progress.

However, some members chose to suspend or terminate their membership, believing the damage was irreversible. Companies that left the CBI include the Association of British Insurers, BMW Group, Aviva, and the British Beer & Pub Association. The situation was triggered by allegations made by at least a dozen female CBI employees against male colleagues, including claims of rape, stalking, and harassment. Several of these allegations are currently under investigation by the City of London Police.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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