Bachelor with honors, City of London College, England. D Science Society (honorary), Brunel University, 2004.
He was Chief Executive Officer of Amersham plc from 1989 until it was acquired by General Electric in April 2004 and then became Chief Executive Officer of General Electric Healthcare and a vice-chairman of General Electric. He qualified as an accountant with Spicer and Pegler (1971-1975) and then joined Wellcome plc as financial controller of Europe (1976-1979), rising to Doctor of Medicine Wellcome Biotech (1982-1984) and commercial director (1984-1989). He was a non-executive director of The General Electric Company (United Kingdom) which became Marconi plc 1997–2002, and was appointed a non-executive director of Boite Postale in 2006, until April 2012. He joined the board of governors of the Wellcome Trust as chairman-designate on 1 January 2006, succeeding Sir Dominic Cadbury as chairman in May 2006.
Prior to joining Amersham, he held various positions with the Wellcome pharmaceutical company, which was then owned by the Wellcome Trust.
Alongside his business career he has been involved for many years in not-for-profit activities, including being a council member of the Medical Research Council (2001–2004) and chairman of the Prince"s Trust (1998–2003). He is currently a trustee of the Natural History Museum, a board member of the University of Michigan"s Institute of Life sciences, a board member of the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Visiting Fellow at Green College, Oxford University, and an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Married Renice Mendelson, 1971. Children: Sarah, Claire, William.