Joe Garner – Keynote Speaker

Recent CEO of Nationwide Building Society

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Joe Garner Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Is it possible to make ethical business decisions - that are also profitable?
  • Is it possible to create purpose led organisations - that are also high performing?
  • As a CEO/senior executive - how do you stay balanced and perform at your best in an 'always on’ continually demanding world?


  • English


Joe Garner is an experienced and accomplished CEO who believes passionately in the importance of leading with humanity and purpose – particularly through tough times. Joe’s career started with Procter & Gamble in 1991 working predominantly in Romania to help lead P&G’s expansion in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2001 he joined Dixons/Currys before moving to HSBC in 2004. Joe rose to lead HSBC’s UK retail division through the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and was promoted to Head of HSBC in the UK.

In 2014 he became Chief Executive Officer of Openreach – BT’s infrastructure division. During his tenure and in partnership with local and central Government, he led the deployment of superfast broadband to over 90% of UK homes. In 2016, Joe joined Nationwide Building Society as CEO and led the organisation through Brexit and COIVD. He successfully grew the mutual’s business to record profit, leading employee engagement and an unbroken seven-year spell as number one for customer service in the industry.

Through these experiences Joe has focussed on attempting to bring humanity into what is sometimes a cold commercial environment. His philosophy is that long term results flow from; a) a focus on values-based leadership, b) inspiring articulation of purpose and c) attention to personal wellbeing. These themes form the content of his keynote presentation.

Joe Garner served as a non-executive director of the Financial Ombudsman Service from 2008-2010 and sat on the Board of the UK Finance – the industry association – for six years. He was also both Chair and a member of the Financial Regulator’s Practitioner Panel for over 10 years.

Joe Garner is passionate about the value of physical and mental wellbeing in leadership. He is a Patron of British Triathlon and a GB age group competitor, as well as a keen and ranked tennis player. He was Chair of the British Triathlon charity from 2013 to 2021 and has recently joined Tennis First as Chair. He is married with one son and lives in Wimbledon.

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