About Chris Knights

My approach to interim management is grounded in personal experience as a leader of people and senior board director/manager in a range of UK and multinational businesses.

Interim assignments

An effective interim leader must inject fresh ideas and insights, share knowledge, and inspire teams to deliver positive and enduring outcomes. My roles tend to involve developing strategy (or challenging and refining it); converting this into actionable plans; and implementing them directly or through client teams.

As an interim manager, I have led businesses through crisis, uncertainty and transformative change, achieving business-critical outcomes. These were delivered within diverse organisations, territories and cultures.

From experience I know that it is essential to be proactive and focused on results, and agile so I can adapt to clients’ situations quickly and identify how to add value. Communicating with, and motivating teams from the shop floor to board level is also a strength.

Many transitions and change programmes are complex and protracted. I set out clear, practical frameworks so that risks, value, and progress are effectively measured and communicated.

Management experience

As an international MD and Sales & Marketing Director, I led business transformation and delivered growth, both organically and through new business start-ups, joint ventures, IPOs, acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

Working in both public and private sectors, in the UK and EMEA, I was responsible for single and multiple B2B business units with up to 4,000 employees.

In a series of senior roles, I demonstrated the ability to blend strategic analysis and planning with practical implementation of major initiatives.

Military background

Before embarking on my career in business, I spent 10 years as an officer with the Royal Engineers. The training and experience gained in this time has served me (and my clients and employers) well.

Overseeing engineering and operational projects, leading teams to achieve demanding objectives, and doing this in a host of harsh environments was formative. These projects often required innovative logistics, planning had to be robust, and my leadership skills were also tested.

Those capabilities are just as valuable in business today.

Management expertise

My expertise encompasses the following core aspects of management:

  • Strategy (Qualified MBA) – Experienced in establishing, developing and successfully implementing strategies that achieve short-term and legacy financial and commercial value.
  • Business Relationships – A strong leader, my management style is collaborative but above all, effective, whether working with clients, multi-disciplinary teams or international government departments at all levels. I have shown that I am able to engage quickly with new teams and individuals to improve productivity and performance.
  • Business Development – Adept in negotiating and implementing market entry and development strategies to increase business value. I have also closed new business (with bids in excess of £250m) in both the private and public sectors.
  • General Management – A proven track record of delivering financial and non-financial objectives in single and multiple business units in the UK and across the Middle East.
  • Operational / Programme Management (Qualified MSP Practitioner) – Extensive experience in managing multi-site operations, planning and successfully implementing complex projects, particularly start-ups, mobilisation and high-growth plans.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Sun Tzu, Chinese general, strategist and philosopher


Chris demonstrated the confident self- starter style demanded of a professional interim. He quickly showed the ability to get things done through the motivation and leadership of the teams for which he was responsible. Although he had no prior experience of Manufacturing or R&D environments he was immediately accepted by the senior directors, his peers, and technical specialists because of his confidence and extensive business experience. He quickly grasped the business, technology and cultural issues and identified and resolved problems rapidly. He brought a pragmatism and robust professional challenge which had significant impact on the short and long term success of the businesses which we aim to develop and continue following his departure. My senior staff and I found his guidance and determination to drive the transitional change very valuable to the progress of both the business and individuals’ personal development. His general management guidance and support was of particular value to my MDs and the team of senior project and BD managers. Chris played a major role on my executive management teams and we benefitted greatly from the ideas and recommendations that he brought from other industries. I wish Chris every success in his future roles and would have no hesitation in recommending Chris for future interim or permanent roles at a senior level and feel that he has a natural ability to fit quickly into any team dynamic and also settles well into tackling key business issues which will add significant value to any business that he joins.

Mark Crawford, Chief Operating Officer, Corac Group PLC

See Corac Energy Technologies, Corac Group PLC case study