Victor Chavez CBE

Senior Associate Fellow; Former CEO, Thales UK


Victor Chavez has over 35 years of experience in the defence, aerospace, and security sectors.

His early career focused on telecommunications and software before joining Thales UK in 1999. Thales UK is a technology business with a turnover of circa £1.2B employing 6,500 people across the defence, security, space, aerospace, and transport sectors. He was appointed Chief Executive in 2011, retiring in 2021 having successfully integrated and grown the business during this period. He now undertakes a portfolio of non-executive and advisory roles in the defence, security, and technology sectors.

Throughout his career in industry, Victor has worked at the highest levels of government and the UK Ministry of Defence on matters of defence industrial strategy, capability management, technology, and acquisition.

Victor has served as a board member of Engineering UK, and as President of techUK and is a member of the Advisory Board for the University of Exeter’s Strategy & Security Institute.

In recognition of his services to defence and security for both the UK and France, Victor was appointed a CBE in 2015 and a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur in 2020.

Victor graduated in Physics from the University of York, followed by an MSc in Satellite Engineering and Telecommunications at the University of Surrey. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University in 2019.

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