An improvised path to CEO

An unplanned but ultimately rewarding journey has led former CIO Adrian Bagg to the top role at leading disability charity the Papworth Trust.


Adrian Bagg is one of a rare breed, a CIO who has moved along the top table to become a chief executive. Full of passion about his work he is, however, quick to point out that his becoming the CEO was the happy outcome of an unplanned career full of business management as well as IT.

About the Papworth Trust

The charity started in 1917 to help people with tuberculosis. The organisation, based in Cambridgeshire, now employs 180 staff across its offices in the east of England. It delivers services in housing, employment, advice and rehabilitation to over 10,000 disabled people every year.

His passion, and the fact that he is willing to take a risk shows in the way he talks about his current job, and in the way he considers the path his career has taken to get there.

"Nothing in my career has been planned, and I don’t belong to that group who think that all CIOs should want to be CEOs,” he says. “I am just excited by successful customer outcomes that occur when commercial projects are completed and delivered. I am not your perfect example of someone who moved from IT to business management.”

His current role, which he has been in for more than a year, is CEO of the Papworth Trust. Every year the trust supports more than 10,000 people gaining equality, choice and independence by helping them with housing, employment, rehabilitation, progression and advice. As Bagg puts it, “We give them their life back.”

When he saw the job advertised he was working on a global function as vice president, process excellence at A.P. Moller-Maersk, and he was waiting for a plane at Copenhagen airport.

“I thought it was such an exciting sounding job I ripped the advert out of the paper, and that was 17 months ago," he says. "I have had a ball, although it has been really challenging. The Papworth Trust was 90 years old and had sort of run out of steam. It needed to look at what was next.”

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