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René Carayol

Leadership & Inclusion Keynote Speaker, Advisor, Author & Commentator

London, UK

René Carayol
Nick Candy
Candy Capital
Gerry Cardinale
RedBird Capital Partners

René Carayol’s Biography

René Carayol MBE is one of the world’s leading executive coaches.

A passionate and inspiring speaker, René Carayol is an expert on leadership, culture, and transformation. He has advised world leaders including Tony Blair and Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as some of the most powerful CEOs in the world. His current work has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.

A question that René is often asked is: “are leaders born, or are leaders made?”. In his experience, the answer is neither; leaders are found. The best indicator of tomorrow’s leaders is who can influence and persuade without authority. René has had the privilege of ‘finding’ many leaders over the years.

René was given some advice early in his career: that he would benefit from having a Black male mentor who had served on boards and been a chairman, but at that time none of those existed in the UK.

On joining the board of Pepsi in 1992, he became their first Black Board Director. And again, on joining the board of IPC magazine in 1995. In 2001 he was appointed to the Board of the Inland Revenue as it merged with Customs and Excise to become HMRC.

At that time, there were no diversity or inclusion programmes, but René found it exhilarating to be in a ground-breaking and pioneering role. It was where he first met the burden of being a role model, which energised him to be the best that he could be.

René is a co-author of the bestselling books Corporate Voodoo and My Voodoo. His most recent book, SPIKE, focuses on identifying the things that we excel at to build self-esteem and confidence.

The range of René’s experience and audience is vast. He is a regular guest of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live, ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and BBC TV as a business commentator. He is a regular contributor to various publications and broadsheets on the subjects of leadership and business transformation.

In 2004 René was awarded an MBE for his outstanding contribution to the business community.

René’s Newsfeed

René Receives Honorary Doctorate

The University of Roehampton has recognised René Carayol with an Honorary Doctorate. As part of Roehampton University’s Business School Advisory Board, René devotes his time and resources to inspire the university’s students and management.

The Times
Diversity is not a project: it is permanent cultural change

René Carayol, a leading executive coach, writes about inclusion and leadership in The Times.

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René’s Background

René Carayol
Global Leadership Keynote Speaker & Chief Executive
Mar 2000 - Present
London, UK
René is a top executive and leadership coach; inclusion and BLM keynote speaker; advisor to CEOs and heads of state, as well as a bestselling author and commentator. His work focuses on diversity and inclusion, allyship and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Executive Vice President of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
May 2021 - Present
Medallia is an employee and customer experience management company headquartered in California with offices worldwide including in London, Munich, Paris and New York. Medallia’s supplies its software to retail, hospitality, financial services and business-to-business companies around the globe.
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René’s Gallery

Other Business Interests

Black Executives
London, UK
Black Executives is a membership organisation that offers members a host of benefits designed to accelerate their careers, including media training, mentoring, networking events and digital reputation management.
ITV plc
Inclusion Expert - 'The week that shook the Royals'
Mar 2021 - Mar 2021
London, UK
René acted as an Inclusion Expert, dealing with the fallout from the controversial Oprah interview featuring Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
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Previous Board Positions

Marks & Spencer
Board Member
London, UK
Board Member
1992 - 1995
London, UK
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Previous Advisory Roles

International Monetary Fund logo International Monetary Fund logo
International Monetary Fund
Advisor and Leadership Support
Washington, DC, USA
Formed in 1945, the International Money Fund is located in Washington D.C. and is an international financial institution. Comprising of 190 countries, the body collaborate on matters including financial stability, global money cooperation, international trade and sustainable economic growth.
African Development Bank
Advisor and Leadership Support to the President
Abidjan, CI
Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is a multilateral development finance institution. Comprising of three entities: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund; its mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent.
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Reset, the Podcast: René Carayol MBE
May 2021
In this podcast René talks passionately about his experience of race, prejudice and his own journey in having to deal with them. He also describes his view of the clear difference between management and leadership and why leadership is now more critical than ever and how everyone should focus on their SPIKE.


Management Today
London, UK
René writes a monthly column for Management Today. Click on the Management Today logo to access all of his articles.
SPIKE: What Are You Great At?
Jun 2017
London, UK
SPIKE is an acronym for Strengths Positively Identified Kick-start Excellence. In his book ‘SPIKE: What Are You Great At?’ René explores the idea that everyone has something great to offer, a skill or strength that they can capitalise on. In the world of SPIKE there are no losers.
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Awards & Endorsements

University of Roehampton
Honorary Doctorate
Sep 2021
London, UK
New Year Honours
Member of the Order of the British Empire
Jan 2004
London, UK
René was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his outstanding contribution to the business community in Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours List 2004.

Academic Appointments

Hult International Business School
Visiting Professor
2013 - 2016
Henley Business School
Visiting Lecturer
2005 - 2007
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Speaking Engagements

The Marketing Academy
Keynote Speaker
Mar 2015
Sydney, AU
René Carayol, UK business guru and media personality, spoke on Leadership and Organisational Cultural to The Marketing Academy’s Australia Leaders' Programme and leading industry professionals
InnoTown Conference
Keynote Speaker
Aug 2019
Alesund, NO
René talks about leadership at the InnoTown Conference, where he elaborates on principles from his book ‘SPIKE: What Are You Great At’. He shares the idea that everyone is or can be a leader and that everyone has a skill or strength to share with the world.

René’s Education

London School of Economics logo London School of Economics logo
London School of Economics
Politics and Sociology
1978 - 1981

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