Paul Hetherington

Paul believes with a passion that great leaders have an extraordinary multiplier effect on their companies, families and local communities. He knows what it’s like to be in that loneliest of positions at the top and wished he’d known about Vistage in his first leadership role.

“I turned up to my first MD position to be told by the PLC Group Chairman that not only had the previous incumbent left, but he had taken all the directors with him, set up in competition and was funded by the company’s largest supplier.

At the time a 220% faster growth rate* would have been handy, but the opportunity to meet peers with no vested interests in a supportive, learning and yet accountable environment is what I would have truly valued.”

That inauspicious start led on to 20 years leading companies as Managing Director, Divisional Managing Director and CEO. He has been a Non-Executive Director of The Builders Merchant Federation and a member of the Hastings & Rother Economic Task Force and is currently a Non-Executive, Trustee and Board Member at The BRE Trust, Hastings Opportunity Area and Flagship School in addition to running his own International Consulting Company and keeping an eye on a start-up investment.

He has worked in PLCs, Private Equity and Family companies, led at times of incredible growth and taken up roles where significant restructuring was required. He has built, mentored and coached outstanding teams, but also faced those with fixed mindset and a failing culture. He has an MBA from the UK’s oldest business school, is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and has the right to escort sheep over London Bridge as a Freeman of the City of London.

His wife Deborah is an American and they lived in New York in the early 90s and pre Covid visited New England regularly. Originally from colder, wetter climes “up North” he now overlooks the sea on “The Sunshine Coast”. His interests include golf, and when he’s not on the South Downs chasing a little white ball he can be seen, if you are up early enough, walking “Pepper”, the family dog, on the Eastbourne promenade.

*Vistage member companies grow 2.2x faster than non-member companies according to analysis by Dun & Bradstreet. In difficult times the gap is even wider, in the 2009 recession Vistage members grew 5.8% compared to peers declining 9.2%.