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Rolls Royce CEO: “We have to be smart about how we grow and deploy Welsh talent – I’m ready to do my part to help”

13 Aug, 2018

With a lifetime of executive and board level experience at multinational companies behind him, Rolls CEO Warren East has announced that he will channel his enthusiasm for fostering Welsh talent by becoming the newest Founding Patron of Community Interest Company GlobalWelsh.

Warren East has been at the helm of Rolls Royce Holdings since 2015 and is overseeing the company’s turnaround through a period of unprecedented and turbulent change to realise it’s true potential. He joined Rolls Royce Holdings having previously led Cambridge-based Microprocessor firm ARM (whose chips are in almost all digital consumer products and much of the worlds digital infrastructure) from 2001 to 2013, helping ARM to achieve success on a global scale. Before ARM his formative years were spent at world leading silicon chipmaker Texas Instruments.

With family roots around Pontypool, Warren’s association with Wales is as alive as ever, but his philanthropy also extends to his education links and a number of other causes. From school in Monmouth, he went on to be a graduate of Oxford University and Cranfield Business School, he has been keen to ensure others with an interest in engineering are able to progress and find opportunities within the field, and he and his wife are keen patrons of The Cambridge Science Centre, and supporters of several medical research charities.

Born in Aberdeen to a Welsh mother and having grown up in Monmouthshire, he retains a strong sense of Welsh identity – regularly visiting his Welsh ‘home from home’. He is currently based in Cambridgeshire, where he lives with his English wife, with whom he has 3 grown-up children. He proudly wears the Welsh dragon on everything from T shirts to cufflinks, follows Welsh rugby and travels to Wales to meet with business associates, family and friends.

“People like me do have a role to play: we can help influence change”

Warren East It’s been a challenging time for him professionally as Rolls Royce Holdings emerged from a difficult period, plunged into its own financial crisis in 2014/2015. Since, East has navigated company restructuring, new product rollouts, uncertainty over Brexit and a host of the “normal” challenges for a UK business punching well above its weight on a global stage.

GlobalWelsh founder Walter May believes East’s depth of experience could be an incredible asset to the Welsh diaspora – a global community the CIC is seeking to reach to create more opportunities for Wales and its overseas community. 

Mr. East said:

“I believe GlobalWelsh can be a catalyst for change in terms of the way we reach out to our overseas community and help to spark new ideas, opportunities and connections which will not only benefit individuals but whole communities and even Wales as a whole.

I’m keenly aware of as a CEO, and an engineer, that we need to collaborate and forge partnerships to stay competitive in a global market at a time of exciting change and opportunity, triggered by the ever more widespread use of technology as the world struggles to adapt to its growing population.

There are so many business leaders out there who are keen to influence change. Closer to home, in the short-term Brexit is a major distraction for UK businesses too. I think people like me do have a role to play. I can share what I know about fighting for and growing market share, about modern design and production, turning all these into successful business, and as a result, help to strengthen our competitive edge.

I’m delighted to be a part of something positive which will have a great impact and legacy for Wales. As a country, we don’t always get the full recognition we deserve on a world stage. We have to be smart about how we grow and deploy Welsh talent - and it’s more important than ever we project our talents globally.”

GlobalWelsh founder Walter May said:

“Warren’s stellar career has already inspired so many people and we’re thrilled that his involvement will help people in our global community with their own business and growth ambitions.

Our Founding Patrons play an important role – as advocates of Welsh ambition and achievement and enthusiasts for their professions. We’re steadily gaining momentum as more FPs join the movement and new community members from all corners of the globe sign up on a daily basis.

Each and every one of us shares a common sense of pride and passion for Wales – with the added commitment to taking action to help and inspire others.”