John served as an army officer having been trained at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to lead teams in high-pressure environments. On leaving the army he worked in the corporate world before becoming a professional rugby player. Following his playing career, John turned to coaching and successfully led Northampton Saints to become European Champions. Johns experience in rugby union also saw him serve on the England Rugby Board during the successful world cup campaign of 2003 and be appointed as CEO of the Rugby Football Union.
The winning of the bid for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics saw John take up post as CEO of UK Sport, the organisation tasked with developing the high performance sport system and delivering medal success for Team GB. His tenure through Beijing and lead into the London Games saw unprecedented results for Team GB. During his time at UK Sport, John faced a different, more personal challenge when he was diagnosed and successfully treated for throat cancer.
With the nations sporting focus switching to an Olympic legacy for “an inspired generation”, John took up post as Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust where he championed the power of sport to impact and shape young peoples lives. He is now Executive Director of Sport at world leading Loughborough University, and Chair of the English Institute of Sport tasked with supporting Team GB athletes and coaches in their quest for medal success.