CIOB chief executive announces retirement

22 November 2018 | By CM staff

Chris Blythe

Chris Blythe is to retire as chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in May 2019.

Blythe has spent nearly 20 years leading the CIOB, making him one of the longest-serving chief executives at a professional body.

CIOB president Chris Soffe said of Chris Blythe’s time with the CIOB: “Leading a 184-year-old organisation, like ours, and keeping it relevant is no easy feat. Chris has transformed the CIOB into a modern international institute, able to adapt to the changing needs of its members and in an industry undergoing a digital revolution.

“With his influence he has helped establish the discipline of construction management as a chartered profession and under his stewardship the awarding of an MCIOB can now be compared to a Bachelors Honours Degree. He has held the industry and government to account on politically sensitive agendas like modern slavery and corruption in construction. He has also championed the industry and the vital role it plays in social mobility, job creation and the quality of life.

“His leadership has given us sure footing as we look to the future and begin our search over the coming months for a new chief executive. We wish Chris well in all that he chooses to do and pass on our sincere thanks for his unwavering dedication and consistently excellent leadership.”

Blythe has been involved in vocational education and training, together with business development, for more than 25 years. He has been chief executive of the CIOB since January 2000.

In the Queen's 2017 New Year’s Honours list he received an OBE for services to the 'Construction Industry and Government'. In September 2018 the University of Wolverhampton awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his ‘contribution to vocational training and education particularly in his role as chief executive of the CIOB’.

Speaking about his decision to retire, Blythe said: “It has been a privilege to lead the CIOB these many years. It has given me the opportunity to work with fabulous people from across the industry and across the world. I have enormous respect for institute members who are dedicated to making a difference to the quality of people’s lives as they strive to improve the industry.

“Belonging to a chartered body is more than just membership and qualifications it is also about a duty to society. That is reflected in the many members I have met and worked with. I would like to thank the countless number of people from across the industry, and colleagues at the CIOB, who have been key in all that we have achieved together and the many successes yet to come.

“I am looking forward to the next phase of my life with great anticipation, great memories and many great friends.”


Oh dear what a loss.

Sheila, 22 November 2018

Chris, You came in like a breath of fresh air, both modernising and rescuing the CIOB organisation from the ignominious fate that many other Professional bodies of that era suffered. The Institute at that time was heading for the second division as a semi-professional higher technician body, and has now reached a parity with the peer RICS organisation, of which I am also a Fellow.

It would be wrong not to criticise some of the initiatives taken, as I have experienced, during my membership at least five branch reorganisations implemented, with restrictive consultations, and some would say with branch bias. The absorption of the Association Architects of Incorporated Surveyors was a fairly innocuous event as far as the existing members of that body were concerned.

It will be a hard task to recruit the correct calible individual, as I am aware of the poor quality of applicants for a similar CEO position, for one of the Professional Engineering bodies currently recruiting in the market for a new for an identicle position.

On the whole though your tenure has been good for the organisation, increasing both awareness and quality of the CIOB Designation, and I would wholeheartedly agree with the President that the Institute has achieved a world recognition as a modern international body. It is though the right time to move on and pass the mantle to fresh blood. I wish you well in your retirement.

Adrian Cox, 22 November 2018

All things must in time change, and I wish you well. Certainly the stature of the CIOB has grown under your tenure, but there is a long way to go.

Moving forward for me there are two key areas, 1 - the whole subject of digital transformation and and a data enabled industry - there is potential for a leading role for the CIOB here, and secondly more recognition at the table for all those CIOB members who work in preconstruction. Construction Managers can't do their stuff and win their awards if preonstruction managers and disciplines don't do it first!

But that said, well done Chris, we haven't always agreed, we don't need to, but we both want the same thing - a changed, transformed and world class industry. Well done! Best wishes, John Eynon.

JOHN EYNON, 24 November 2018

I totally agree, as a CEO Mr. Chris Blythe done excellent job. I miss you Chris. Enjoy your retired life. Who will be the next for the challanging position?

Raja Pillai, 29 November 2018

Chris, thank you very much for your efforts and hard work that shaped our beloved CIOB.

Ehab Shallaby, 4 January 2019

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