Martin Davidson

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Person.png Sir Martin Davidson LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Martin Davidson.jpeg

Employment.png Chairman

In office
April 2017 - August 2017
EmployerAdam Smith International

Employment.png Advisory Board Member

In office
January 2016 - Present
EmployerPortland Communications

Employment.png Non Executive Director

In office
January 2016 - Present
EmployerHouse of Fraser

Employment.png Chairman

In office
August 2015 - December 2016
EmployerInternational Inspiration

Employment.png Chairman

In office
January 2015 - Present
EmployerGreat Britain-China Centre

Employment.png CEO link= executive officer

In office
April 2007 - December 2014
EmployerBritish Council

Sir Martin Davidson, former head of the British Council, was named as the new Chairman of Adam Smith International (ASI) in March 2017.

Davidson’s appointment came in the wake of a months’ long investigation by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the parliamentary International Development Committee, which found that ASI had inappropriately used privileged information from inside DfID to increase its bidding chances.

In a press statement, Davidson said:

“I am delighted to be joining Adam Smith International and to lead it through the current restructuring and beyond. My immediate priority will be to complete the action the company is already taking to address past issues and improve governance.”

Davidson also announced that ASI’s longtime CEO, Layth Bunni, will be added to the list of ASI executives stepping down in the wake of accusations of improper conduct and of making excessive profits from DfID contracts valued at £537 million over a five-year period:[1]

“As one of my first responsibilities, I will oversee the process to appoint a new CEO. This is expected to take at least six months and an interim CEO will be appointed meanwhile.”[2]

Scandal at ASI

In September 2017, The Times reported that Sir Martin Davidson had been ousted as ASI Chairman after an abortive attempt to resume bidding for government contracts.[3]

British Council expenses

In May 2010, the London Evening Standard reported that Martin Davidson was alleged to have claimed thousands of pounds for hotel stays, in an apparent breach of the British Council's rules:

Chief executive Martin Davidson is said to have claimed for 38 overnight stays in London last year, despite the rules stating costs must not be reimbursed to "staff who stay in a hotel at or near the normal workplace because their home is far away".
The 54-year-old, who commutes to central London from Dorset, was said to have been attending events at the British Museum, London Book Fair and Royal Ballet. He is said to have claimed more than £4,600 for overnight stays in the capital, out of £35,948 expenses last year. Mr Davidson earns £169,383 a year.
A British Council spokesman said he was "required to stay late in London to welcome visitors to the UK. Overnight stays are only used when essential, and costs are kept to a minimum."[4]