Martin McCourt – Former CEO, Dyson
Martin McCourt has worked for some of the biggest consumer brands for over 40 years. As CEO of Dyson for 15 years, he led the business from niche vacuum cleaner maker to a global brand with an extensive product line. Working closely with James Dyson, Martin devised and implemented a strategy that transformed the company and allowed James the freedom to focus on inventing products. His work saw Martin named as Orange UK Business Leader of the Year.
Having worked in sales and marketing for brands including Duracell, Toshiba and Mars, Martin was drafted in by James Dyson to expand the company and drive it towards market dominance. He was given control of the commercial side of the business leaving James to focus on the design, engineering and innovation aspects. Alongside a new brand strategy, Martin transferred manufacturing to Asia whilst increasing skilled jobs in the UK, and expanded into new global markets. On his departure, Dyson revenue had exceeded £1bn and the business was a brand leader around the world drawing 80% of its income from over 60 worldwide markets and with operations in the US, Japan and Germany.
With his extensive experience in manufacturing, design and marketing Martin went on to advise a private equity group and chair the market leader in vehicle valuation data and new vehicle information. He then chaired CliniSys Group, the European clinical laboratory information management system provider, and DORC, a leader in innovative instruments and equipment for ophthalmic surgery. He was also formerly Chairman of CAP, a market leading provider of vehicle valuation data, new vehicle information and business solutions to the automotive industry, He is on the board of Your Life, Ideas Britain, and Headbox – all cutting edge organisations aimed at encouraging young people to create, invent, collaborate and embrace science and business.
In 2010 Martin was named UK Business Leader of the Year. In April 2016 Martin was appointed Chairman of Glen Dimplex Group. In 2017 he was appointed Chairman of Dudson. He is also Chairman of The Learning Curve Group, an organization providing vocational education and training programmes to a wide range of learners and employers and Venture Founders, a UK-based equity investment platform designed to make Angel and Venture Capital style investing more accessible, affordable and transparent.
Martin explores the importance of innovation, the role of leadership, and the differences (and similarities) between large and small businesses in a passionate, humorous and insightful presentation. He looks at growing a business in challenging times, expanding overseas, and the importance of manufacturing and export to the UK economy. Feedback on his presentations include:
“We booked Martin to talk at a Client’s internal marketing conference and he was quite simply brilliant. He has an engaging style that finds the perfect balance between being both relaxed and professional. He had the audience’s attention from the off and used a mix of media throughout his presentation to keep them interested and amused throughout. The feedback from the audience was excellent, with most citing his speech as a highlight of their 2-day conference. Personally, I found his professional approach refreshing – simple things like being early, relaxed and flexible meant that I had one less thing to worry about on the day. I would most definitely recommend Martin and would be more than happy to use him at future events.”Marketing Team Direct
“Probably the best feedback we have had to date”. Fujitsu
“He came across very well and in informal conversations I had with many people afterwards, they volunteered that Martin’s presentation was one of the highlights. He was informative, engaging and came across well, including some quite good (witty!) responses to some of the questions.” IBM
“I think I speak on behalf of all the team here at Deloitte and our guests when I say that Martin was absolutely outstanding – entertaining, inspiring, engaging, humorous – really just everything we were looking for. He made the event special and everyone was talking about him throughout the evening” Deloitte
“Very engaging, highly entertaining and very effectively weaved our theme of distinctiveness into his presentation.”Deloitte DCE Programme
“I would like to say thank you for coming along to our first Fast Growth Network event on Tuesday and lighting up the event with your stories and advice for fast growing businesses. All the feedback we have received has been unequivocally positive about the event and your contribution to it. Our objective was to choose a first class venue and have a first class speaker to kick off the network and our expectations were exceeded. Our challenge now is to try to get close to it again with our second event!” Ernst & Young
“We really enjoyed your presentation and talking to you over the conference dinner. The strong, albeit anecdotal, feedback so far has been very positive.” Building Societies Association
“Thank you for your presentation during the 3DEXPERIENCE Customer FORUM. We have received lots of positive feedback and we owe our success to you and your professionalism.” Dassault Systemes
“In short Martin is one of the best after dinner speakers we have had in 17 years. His storytelling gave our guests the ‘take home’ nuggets of advice and inspiration that any good business speaker must provide. He had us all laughing at his turn of phrase and self-depreciating insights”Fast Track 250
“Martin has a warm and engaging style that conveys strong, clear business messages. It’s not easy to grow a company, especially when based on the work of an entrepreneurial inventor and Martin embodies the dedication and perseverance that is needed. To generate a culture where ideas are welcome with that backdrop is inspiring.” CIO Connect
“Martin was stimulating, funny, thought provoking and challenging. His Dyson story is a great one but what really shone was the manner in which he bridged between his experiences at Dyson and the world of BDO. He worked hard to make the connections and had clearly done a significant amount of ‘homework’. Martin was also superb during the 30 min Q&A which followed his speech, answering each question fully. The standout for me however was the ease of working with Martin and the thoroughly enjoyable nature of our interactions. I’d love to work with Martin again.” BDO LLP
“Martin judged the requirements of the audience and the company very well and I am particularly pleased by that. Though relating to a totally different industry, it was great to see just how much relevance the audience saw in the messages and experiences he described. The talk was very entertaining, informative and stimulating; I thoroughly enjoyed it and the feedback from all of the group was very positive.”Murphy Group
“Martin’s presentation was excellent and we have had a great deal of very positive feedback from a number of people already. He made a big impression and his contribution to our morning was invaluable and helped make it a great success for us so far.” Delville Management
“As we were delivering a leadership module on Leading a Business for our 22 global talents on senior management level, we asked Martin to speak to them about balancing the wobble board of investors, customers, suppliers and employees. Martin delivered a great speech followed by a Q&A session on his story of Dyson and engaged our participants from the start to the end. His examples were compelling and disruptive delivering a great message around idea generation and how to behave in a very competitive market. Our leaders really much enjoyed the session and found him very authentic and charismatic.” Vodafone Group
“The event went wonderfully! We were thrilled with it and the feedback so far has been wonderful. Martin was an utter professional and everybody really loved his presentation! I really enjoyed working him” ChannelAdvisor UK Ltd