In September 2003 this was extended at the request of CBI members to seven years, his term ended at the end of December 2006. As the chief executive of the UK's 'voice of business', he regularly and repeatedly visited businesses around the UK and across the world, taking their views back to those who make the rules. He appeared regularly on television and radio and in the newspapers, promoting the interests of wealth and job creation in the UK, the rest of Europe and beyond.
He is a non-executive director of many organisations including Alba plc (2003), the consumer electronics manufacturer, a director of Business in the Community (2000) and chairman of the Birmingham University Business School Advisory Board (2004).
In June 2007 he became a life peer with a job in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's administration. He has been appointed minister of state for trade and investment at the new Department for Business and Enterprise. His aim is to put business, wealth and job creation right in the middle of decision-making and policy-formulation of the government.