Sir Rod Aldridge
  • Sir Rod Aldridge is the founder of the Capita plc and chair of the Aldridge Foundation
  • Sir Rod hopes to bring his perspective from founding and growing Capita to add to Aston University’s business growth support
  • He will join the University’s College of Business and Social Sciences.

Sir Rod Aldridge has been appointed as a visiting professor in the College of Business and Social Sciences at Aston University in recognition of his contribution to business, social change and public service.

His involvement with the public sector led to the formation of Capita plc which became known for leading the development of the ‘white collar’ outsourcing market in the UK. This radically changed how many services, initially in local and central government, were delivered and then, similarly for many private sector organisations.

Over a period of 22 years, Sir Rod led Capita from a start-up in 1984, through to a public floatation on the Alternative Investment Market, (AIM), a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange, in 1989 with a market value of £8m to ultimately becoming a FTSE 100 company valued at its peak at c £8bn.

Aston University’s specialism in small business growth includes leading research centres, the Centre for Growth, the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, and the Enterprise Research Centre. Sir Rod hopes to bring his perspective from founding and growing Capita to Aston University’s business growth support and expertise.

Following his retirement from Capita in 2006, Sir Rod was appointed by the then prime minister Gordon Brown to be the founder chair of Vinspired, the youth volunteering charity established to be responsible for revolutionising volunteering in 16 to 24-year-olds, inspiring and engaging one million new young volunteers. 

Also, in 2006 he founded the Aldridge Foundation a charity focused on creating positive, sustainable, social and economic impact, putting enterprise skills and an entrepreneurial mindset at the heart of young people’s education.

It supports young people across a family of nine non-selective community academies involving the education of 7,000 students in the north west, London and the south east. He was also the founder chair of Ada, the National College of Digital skills.

More recently he has taken a deep interest in mental health and wellbeing. Rod is a non-executive director of Frog Systems which has developed a technology driven platform designed to address the issue of mental wellness through the power of videos to relay stories of hope and support for mental health issues.

He hopes to continue the development of this thinking with Aston University to provide real insights and impact for business leaders to enable them to support the wellness needs of them and their employees.

Sir Rod was awarded an OBE in the 1994 and received a Knighthood for services to young people in 2012. He also holds a Degree of Doctor of business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Speaking about his appointment, Sir Rod Aldridge, said:

“It is an honour to join Aston University as a visiting professor.

“As an entrepreneur, I have experienced the power and benefits that an entrepreneurial approach along with developing enterprising attributes can benefit an organisation.

“I look forward to bringing this experience to Aston University and discussing with business leaders of tomorrow how this approach can be adopted more widely by organisations in both the private and public sectors.”

Paula Whitehouse, associate dean enterprise at Aston University’s College of Business and Social Sciences, said:

“Sir Rod’s appointment as a visiting professor recognises his considerable contribution and achievements in the fields of business and support for young people. 

“We are privileged to work with such a distinguished leader with a track record in business, social and economic impact. 

“We look forward to collaborating with Sir Rod on initiatives close to the heart of Aston University including the development of enterprise skills in our students, support for new ventures, employee wellbeing and engagement and business growth.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email:

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About Aldridge Foundation

The Aldridge Foundation works with young people from areas of low socioeconomic wealth to raise their aspirations and help equip them with the life and employability skills that will give them an equal chance in life. We want to ensure that the young people we work with are better placed to achieve their dreams and live the rewarding, productive lives they choose. We open young peoples’ eyes to opportunities in the world beyond school and help them build valuable skills and attributes through enterprise learning, experiential learning, skills development through sport and the creative arts. 

To find out more about the Aldridge Foundation visit: 

For further information contact Gavin Callaghan



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