In the news: Iain Anderson

July 26, 2002

Iain Anderson's inquiry into the foot-and-mouth crisis reported this week. His was the last of the three inquiries.

He listed a catalogue of failures by the government and officials. His report said the plan that was designed to fight the disease had "gaps" and that officials' early reactions were "not fast enough or efficiently coordinated". Dr Anderson said: "The foot-and-mouth epidemic of 2001 was an emergency that became a crisis. And, for some parts of the country, it was a crisis that became a disaster."

Dr Anderson is a former chairman and chief executive of a range of Unilever subsidiary companies worldwide. He did his first degree and PhD in microbiology at the University of Glasgow. Next was a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts and a two-year stint at the US Public Health Service.

Dr Anderson joined Unilever in 1965. His career there spanned 33 years. After starting in research and development and technical management, he worked in business management before joining the board's executive committee. He has been chairman and chief executive of Unilever companies in agribusiness, speciality chemicals and food.

Since retiring from Unilever in 1998, Dr Anderson has maintained a range of interests in business and charitable work. He is chairman of Intense Photonics and of BT Scotland, and a non-executive director of British Telecom and Scottish and Newcastle. He chairs Schools Enterprise Scotland and sits on the boards of several charitable trusts and university and government advisory panels. From 1998 to 2000, he was special adviser to the prime minister on millennium compliance issues.

Dr Anderson is married with two sons and lives in Scotland and London. He enjoys gardening, fly fishing, sailing and hill-walking, as well as music, reading and wine appreciation.

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