Niall FitzGerald

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Niall FitzGerald was, until the end of May 2011, the Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters, following the creation of the new company in April 2008. Prior to this he was the Chairman of Reuters from October 2004, having spent over 30 years with Unilever. He has been Chairman of the London business intelligence bureau Hakluyt & Co since November 2008. [1]

A fierce defender of capitalism

In 2002, FitzGerald co-chaired the annual World Economic Forum Davos economic summit, which took place in New York. FitzGerald can be considered one of the fiercest defenders of capitalism, claiming ‘more capitalism, not less’ is the answer to global problems such as widespread poverty. He is also at the forefront in preaching corporate social responsibility.

FitzGerald was non-executive director of Merck & Co (one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies) between 2000-03 and Ericsson (one of the world’s biggest suppliers in telecommunications, Ericsson is taking the lead in the expansion of mobile infrastructure, including GSM’s).

Fitzgerald accepted the Advertising Association's invitation to become President of the AA as of 22 May 2000. He took over the post from the incumbent, Sir George Bull, Chairman of Sainsbury plc, who has held the office since 1996. The Advertising Association is a federation of 26 trade associations and professional bodies representing advertisers, agencies, the media and support services. It is the only body, which speaks for all sides of an industry currently worth over £17 billion per annum.

FitzGerald was named as the most powerful marketer in the UK in 2001. Power 100 ranks the most influential people in the industry by criteria such as spending power, personality, brand strength and contracts [1].

According to annual reports and Bloomberg data, salaries for the highest paid executives at Britain’s 30 biggest companies rose 67% over the past year to a medium of £1,2 million. Unilever CEO FitzGerald received a 15% increase in salary and bonus in 2000, while net income of the company fell 60%. FitzGerald’s total ‘compensation’ was £1,5 million [2]. The Unilever annual report, published 28 March 2002, showed that FitzGerald was paid £1.9m after a £955,000 performance-related bonus. This figure excludes any gains made on options on shares exercised during the year and any contributions to his pension funds.

(He has donated to building cooperation and peace in Northern Ireland, and has run the London Marathon for charity... [3].


  1. CMi, Niall Fitzgerald KBE, undated, accessed 25 April 2012
  1. ^ (Sept. 2001) (source: Corporate Watch, date viewed: 20/9/01)