Sir John McLeod Scarlett was head of the Secret Intelligence Service from 2004 to 2010. He had previously served as chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.and head of the Intelligence and Securities Secretariat in the Cabinet Office. Scarlett was succeeded as head of the SIS by John Sawers in November 2009.
After leaving the Secret Intelligence Service he was appointed as a consultant and member of the advisory board at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a senior adviser at Morgan Stanley UK and a member of the strategic advisory committee at Statoil.
- A fluent Russian speaker, he joined MI6 in 1970 and during his early career served in Nairobi, Moscow, and Paris.
- He went on to be in charge of Britain's station in Moscow. 
Scarlett chaired the Joint Intelligence Committee from 3 September 2001. In this role he had responsibility for the dossier on alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction published by the British Government in September 2002. 
- Member of the Advisory Board, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, February 2010. Approved by ACOBA "subject to the normal, automatic three month waiting period from his last day in service and the condition that, for 12 months from the same date, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employers, their partners or clients".
- Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, February 2010. Approved by ACOBA "subject to the conditions that, for 12 months from his last day in service, he should not be personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employer or their clients, or have any direct dealings with the intelligence agencies concerning any bids for new work or the development of existing work made by same".
- Senior Adviser, Morgan Stanley UK, March 2010. Approved by ACOBA "subject to the condition that, for 12 months from his last day of service, he should not become personally involved in lobbying UK Government Ministers or Crown servants, including Special Advisers, on behalf of his new employers or their clients".
SC strategy ltd
In 2012, Scarlett formed the consultancy SC Strategy Ltd with former reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation and peer for the Liberal Democrats, Alex Carlile. The firm claims to offer 'strategic advice on UK policy and regulation' , and is said to have grossed £800,000 in its 3 years of existence. The only known client of the firm is the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, and it currently has no listed phone number or website. Companies House lists its address at a high-end London accountancy firm.
The regular interventions of his partner Carlile in defence of the security services have come under fire for merely being a reflection of his business affiliation with the former MI6 chief. Scarlett himself has largely stayed out of the debate, but he did publish a report in the last Parliament, commissioned by former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, that proposed that intelligence agencies should retain 'controversial powers to collect bulk communications data'.
Most intriguingly, since leaving MI6 in 2011, Scarlett serves as a director and senior adviser at News Corps' holding company for the Times newspaper. In November 2015, The Times published a 3-part series on MI6 and GCHQ with unprecedented access to the two agencies, curiously a week before the government publishes its investigatory powers bill. A Times spokesperson has said that Scarlett was in no way invovled in the publishing of the series.
- Richard Norton-Taylor, Sir John Sawers named as new chief of MI6, guardian.co.uk, 16 June 2009.
- BBC News Profile: John Scarlett, 26 August 2003, accessed 26 February 2008
- Hutton Inquiry Hearing Transcripts. Tuesday, 26 August 2003, Morning
- Eleventh Report 2009-2010 Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, accessed 27 November 2014
- Statoil spies top MI6 talent, upstreamonline.com, accessed 28 April 2011.
- Harry Davies, 'Former reviewer of anti-terror laws co-owns consultancy with ex-MI6 chief', The Guardian, 3 November 2015, accessed 4 November 2015