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New RNID Chair: Gerald Corbett

geraldcorbett.jpgThe RNID has appointed Gerald Corbett, to be its new Chair. He was the former CEO of Railtrack, recently retired as Chair of Woolworths and was appointed as Chairman for SSL in 2006 (that manufactures Durex contraceptives).

So what does this man know about Deafies? What's his personal experience? Does anyone know? If you are a reader of Rob's blog, you will know that he published the job description and person specification for the Chair. Listed as highly desirable, but not essential was "Personal or close experience of deafness".

That aside, seems that RNID PR is being its usual fantastic self, and letting the mainstream first. There is nothing about this appointment on the RNID's website, at the time of writing this.

Gerald Corbett, the former chief executive of Railtrack, has been appointed chairman of deafness charity the RNID.

Corbett, who has recently retired as chairman of the retail group Woolworths, will take over from James Strachan, who has been involved with the charity for the past 14 years, as both a trustee and chief executive.

“RNID is one of the leading voluntary organisations in the country and I want to build on the achievements of James and the management team,” Corbett said. “I am looking forward to working with everyone at the RNID on making the world a better place for deaf and hard of hearing people.”

Corbett is also non-executive chairman of Britvic, the drinks company, SSL International, a manufacturer of healthcare products and Greencore Group, a supplier of food ingredients.

He takes over formally on 26 October.

Source: Third Sector

Anyone wishing to do more background reading here's Gerald Corbett's entry on Wikipedia.

See also:
Chair BoT RNID: advert difficult to find on its website?
Photo Friday: Deaf Chair Now
Hanson Green: Deaf Recruitment Experts?
Chair BoT @ RNID only advertised in mainstream press
An international blogger tries to explain re RNID
RNID: Banging some drum, and who hears it?
John Low and James Strachan resign from RNID
Low: RNID CEO needn't be deaf or hard of hearing
John Low the soap star!

Comments (17)

Whooooo? Good luck Gerald! I have a feeling you're in for a major challenge from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Brits, who might question your qualifications for this position....

Aye. As a Deaf Brit, my first thought was, "Who the **** is he?!"

My second thought was, "WTF does Woolworths have to do with Deafies?!"

My third thought: "Ah, RNId have stepped up in the suit department, is all. A nice fat corporate point for them...."

It proves the point you don't need to be acquainted with the product to sell it (As John Low proved). Perhaps he can get deaf people jobs on the railways or stacking shelves at Woolies... It will be interesting see if he makes any attempt to address the d/D issues, my money is on not. Raising money is all he is there for.

With Railtrack and wollies track record of haemorrhaging money its just what we need.....

Coming soon: rnid Employment Service offers jobs for Deafies making condoms.

I wonder if Gerald is developing a guilty conscience in the light of that banned Tango advert when a fat bald orange man slapped on your ears/face. Remmy that 'un.....banned cos it might damaged the ears through copycats...

I think Gerry (Can I call him that ?), is ideally placed to impress upon deaf people, the issues of safe sex, and if he can make a few bob too, why not :)

One of the first things that Mr Corbett can look forward to upon taking office is to receive a nice letter from me referring him to my thread over at Ouch, namely "Draft Letter to RNID Trustees."

In said letter I will invite him to explain what he intends to do to improve on RNID's appalling record of accountability to deaf people and what steps he intends to take to ensure that deaf people have a say in their own affairs.

If the RNID are not going to give deaf people the empowerment and self-determination that they deserve, then I will enter like a bull in a china shop and demand it.

Just in case the trackbacks for this blog doesn't work, I've posted my"comment" on this post over at my site - go there by clicking on here


So what does this Gerald Corbett do in the way of involvement with the Deaf? Has he any real understanding or empathy?


Yes he understand! See the leaked PR video here!

I've also "obtained" another leaked video...watch this space...

Hate to spoil this orgy of venom, but actually Gerald's grandfather was as deaf as a post. In fact his family have been struck by medical tragedy. His twin brother Tom has had life long mental health problems and manages his life bravely with severe mental illness. His younger brother Andrew is an epileptic and lives in London with AIDS. I think you'll find he has reserves of both empathy and talent to bring to support this charity. Stop carping and see what he achieves before passing poorly informed judgement

AIDS, epilepsy, mental health .... does not qualify you to Chair a DEAF charity. That should be done by a Deafie. Bit like getting a man to Chair a woman's organisation, and telling everyone they are qualified to do so because a) they are married to a woman, a woman is in their family, and b) their family is struck by tragedy.

Furthermore, the words BRAVERY, MEDICAL TRAGEDY, You really are not going to get very far in the disability field by using such terminology. You certainly will not get anywhere with Deaf people if you start flinging around such terminology plus attitude or approach.

Deaf people have frequently seen do gooders in the form of hearing people for centuries, and why should Gerald be any different? There is a lot of oppression as far as Deaf people go, including the recognition or lack of opportunity to run their own organisations. E.g. why isn't the Chair Deaf, why is 100% of SMT @ the rnid hearing? By this very notion, the charity is failing. The USA by equiv allows opportunity.

In this country, we have public profile figures and others riding on the backs of people, just to climb the career ladder in public life ... and it stays that way to maintain the status quo.

Well said, Alison.

I think it's worth pointing out that one of the many dirty tricks that RNID and it's apologists like to use against deaf people is to try and suppress our voice, deflect our criticisms with emotional blackmail.

Invoking medical tragedy, mental health problems, epilepsy and AIDs when we are talking about suitability to head a deaf organisation is a misdirection.

Deaf people don't have to justify themselves to RNID and its apologists - we mind our own business. But the RNID and it's apologists have to justify themselves to us - because they mind our business.

Give it a chance - and watch this space. hopefully this will prove a positive step for RNID

Give it a chance? Again?

Methinks someone's taking the piss here...

it was an utter disgrace
in the 90's when tv advertising went bad where
companies slapstick humour went to far including soft drinks company britvic made
tv adverts for their orange
beverage drink tango where
it featured an orange guy
slapping a guys ears and
children at schools accross
the uk copied the adverts
and ended up getting the adverts banned thank lord
they do not make them anymore it was apauling the 90's was for tv adverts.

frankie smales

(retro tv advert fan)

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