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Lord Paul Deighton

Former CEO


Lord Paul Deighton has had a distinguished career in finance. He led the Olympic Games London 2012, served as a UK Government Minister and now has a portfolio of non-executive roles.

Deighton graduated in Economics from Cambridge University and spent 27 years in banking, 22 of them at Goldman Sachs, where he became a partner. He spent the first half of his career advising corporate clients, and during the second half he focused on internal leadership and risk management as the firm expanded around the world.

In 2005 he left Goldman Sachs to become CEO of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). He remains the only CEO in modern summer Olympic history to have lasted a full seven-year tenure. In this role, Deighton was responsible for building the organisation, formulating the plan, raising the money and delivering the Games. This involved ensuring that venues, transport, security, broadcasting, technology, ticketing, workforce, volunteers, sponsorship, merchandise, ceremonies and the torch relay were all ready for both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. He was also responsible for collaborating across a vast array of partners from both the public and private sectors, as well as from the international sporting world.

After the success of the Games, Deighton was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen and asked by Prime Minister Cameron and Finance Minister Osborne to join the UK Government as a Treasury Minister in the House of Lords to oversee the delivery of the country’s infrastructure and to attract foreign investment to the UK. He also led the UK’s Banking Reform Bill through the legislative process in Parliament.

Deighton retired from government at the May 2015 election and has built a portfolio of business and voluntary positions. He is the non-executive Chairman of Heathrow Airport and Chairman of the UK-based advisory firm Hakluyt, and he serves on the board of Square, Inc., a San Francisco-based payments processing company. He has also served on the Parliamentary committee, reviewing the refurbishment options for the Palace of Westminster.

Continuing his involvement in sport, Deighton was a board member of the organising committee for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and now chairs the Audit and Finance Commission of the IAAF, the international governing body for athletics. He also chairs the governing body of King's College School Wimbledon, one of the UK's leading independent schools.


The speakers

Using the unique power of sport to bring people together, the Olympism in Action Forum sees a range of global players, including Olympic Movement stakeholders, athletes, private and public sector leaders, NGO representatives, academics, artists and the media come together to talk on topical contemporary issues. Chosen because of their ability to effect change and their wide range of sometimes differing opinions, the speakers will lead lively debates and seek to challenge received wisdom to inspire new ways of thinking.

Meet the speakers.
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