Tom McKillop

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Tom McKillop is the former CEO of AstraZeneca - a position he left to take on a new role as deputy chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland in September 2005, becoming chair in 2006 and announcing his early retirement in December 2008 in the aftermath of the disastrous investment decisions that brought the bank to its knees.

AstraZeneca was formed on 6 April 1999 through the merger of Astra AB of Sweden and Zeneca Group plc of the UK – McKillop had been CEO of Zeneca in 1994 when the company was created as a result of a demerger of ICI. He joined ICI's Corporate Research Laboratory in 1969, following research work after obtaining a PhD and BSc Hons in Chemistry. He moved to ICI Pharmaceuticals Division where he held a number of positions including Technical Director with international responsibility for research, development and production.[1]

McKillop was a director with Lloyds TSB Group (1999-2004) and a director at BP (2004-).[2] He was also Chairman of the British Pharma Group and President of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (2002-4), the chemical industry wide lobby group at the EU level – an indication of involvement in transnational business activism.[3] In addition McKillop has been on the advisory board of Scottish Development International and the British-American Business Council, the elite transatlantic business network and has spoken at the World Economic Forum on a number of occasions (including in 2003, 2004 and 2005).[4] McKillop himself notes that ‘I'm an active participant in the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos and it clearly shows the benefits of free trade in economic growth’.[5] He also attended the Bilderberg Group meeting in 2008.[6] Other elite connections include: a fellow of the Royal Society, president of The Science Council, Chairman of the NorthWest Science Council and a trustee of the Council for Industry and Higher Education. He was also Pro-Chancellor of Leicester University (2001-5), another connection with the University sector.

He is married with three children and his leisure interests include sport, reading, carpentry and music.




  1. Business Week EXECUTIVE PROFILE Tom McKillop PhD, accessed 19 January 2009
  2. BP, ‘Sir Tom McKillop’, accessed 19 January 2009
  3. Business Week EXECUTIVE PROFILE Tom McKillop PhD, accessed 19 January 2009
  4. Leather, Gareth ‘AstraZeneca CEO Claims Japan Overreacted to Iressa Scare’ World Markets Analysis, January 27, 2003; AFX.COM ‘DAVOS At-a-glance guide to the main points’, January 26, 2004 Monday; Hawthorne, Fran ‘What's wrong with the FDA? Either too fast or too slow, the agency can't find the right balance’; Chief Executive (U.S.) April 1, 2005 P. 35(3) No. 207.
  5. Cooke Graham ‘Things looking up for innovation: CEO’ Canberra Times (Australia) June 4, 2004 Friday Final Edition, A; p. 15.
  6. Jones, Alex ‘Official 2008 Bilderberg Participant List, Infowars, 6 June 2008,, accessed 19 January 2009.