200 of the regions business leaders from across the business spectrum, ranging from advanced manufacturing to professional services and the public and third sectors will converge on the Cutlers’ hall for this memorable IoD black tie event.
James Muir, LEP Chairman, Sheffield City Region & Former VW Group President
James graduated from Manchester University with a degree in German, followed by a postgraduate diploma in marketing and languages.
In 1983 he joined a manufacturer of tableware, spending his first year working full time in the factory, after which he was posted to set up the company’s sales and distribution subsidiary in the German market.
Three years later he joined Ford Motor Company and held various sales and marketing positions, including Sales Director for Ford Switzerland, and Regional Director for the North of England.
In 2001 he was appointed Managing Director responsible for establishing Mazda’s own company in the UK; in 2003 he was promoted to Mazda’s European headquarters near Cologne, first as Vice-President of Sales & Marketing and then as President and CEO of Mazda Europe where he led the Company’s turnaround from loss-maker to Mazda Corporation’s most profitable business unit in the world.
In 2009 James joined Volkswagen Group as President & CEO of SEAT based in Barcelona and tasked with revitalising its ailing brand. Over the following four years he led the complete restructuring of the company including the development of a new brand and product strategy.
Since mid-2013 James was based in Wolfsburg, Germany, responsible for running the VW Group’s owned national sales companies across more than 20 countries world-wide, accounting for more than 4 million vehicle sales with over €80 billion of turnover.
In December 2018 James retired from VW Group. He is the Chair of the Astrea Academy Trust Board, one of England’s largest multi academy trusts managing 28 primary and secondary schools located across South Yorkshire and North Cambridgeshire.
In January 2019, James became LEP Chairman at Sheffield City Region responsible for representing private-sector businesses and setting the strategic direction for the economic growth of the Sheffield City Region.
He is married and has three children. James speaks four languages, is a keen skier, rugby enthusiast and has a passion for business, economics, change management and social mobility.
Nicholas Cragg, Master Cutler
Nick Cragg was installed as Master of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire in October 2018, becoming the 380th Master Cutler. He is passionate about raising the business profile of the Region especially for the benefit of existing manufacturers, as well as for attracting new inward investors, and we look forward to hearing Nick speak.