A serial entrepreneur with a relaxed, down to earth attitude, Chris’ assertiveness and passion for life has been instrumental in shaping his career. His entrepreneurial flair has also earned him recognition within the public sector, where he is an enthusiastic and passionate ambassador for regional regeneration.
Chris has grown companies, initiated many successful start-ups and made several acquisitions. Some of these have remained within the Express Group or Chris’ personal portfolio, while others have been sold to management or third parties.
His ability to read the market and respond quickly to opportunities has been a major factor in the growth of his investments.
Chris won the highly acclaimed North East Business Executive of the Year award in 1993 on the strength of his business performance, and in 2005 completed a year as David Goldman Visiting Professor at Newcastle University.
“With over 40 new enterprises and several international joint ventures to his credit, the appointment of local businessman and entrepreneur, Chris Thompson, as this year’s David Goldman Visiting Professor of Innovation at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne’s business school would seem well overdue.” Prof Ian McLoughlin University of Newcastle upon Tyne Business School 2005.
When Chris decides to take time away from his business and regional commitments, his hobbies are sailing, shooting, cars, enjoying good food and fine wines and, most importantly, spending time with his family.
Chris is an adventurer and likes a challenge; he entered the Monte Carlo Challenge, a 2500-mile winter rally through the Alps to the Mediterranean in 1992, 1993 and 1994, achieving victory in his Aston Martin DB4 in 1993.
Chris also shared a Leopard 47 Catamaran with four local businessmen and sailed the boat 6500 miles across the Southern Atlantic from Cape Town to Barbados in 2003.
Chris is proud of the North East; not only its heritage and history but also the way the region has coped with enforced de-industrialisation. He is passionate about what has been achieved for Culture and Regeneration and is committed to building on this success.
Express Group was the first private sector company to make a donation that then enabled the “Angel of the North” to leverage other funding required to commission what is now widely recognised as the most significant piece of art in the North East region.
Chris has held several public sector senior board appointments:- One NorthEast, North East Finance and the North East Employer Coalition. Chris is aware of the need for the region to commit to integrated social and economic regeneration programmes.
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