Sir David Nicolson

This page was last edited on at

This page was archived on 7 January 2021 and is not actively maintained

Sir David Nicolson was a businessman and politician with strong tobacco industry links who was particularly active during the 1970s and 1980s.


Nicolson was appointed Chairman of the British Airways Board in 1971 and was a member of the Institute of Directors council from 1971 to 1976 and of the council of the Confederation of British Industry from 1972 where he chaired its Environment Committee.1

He had a life-long interest in European affairs. He was a Conservative MEP from 1979 to 1984 and was Chairman of the European Movement from 1985 to 1988.1

After retiring from business activities Nicholson was chancellor of Surrey University between 1987 and 1993. He passed away in 1996.1

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Nicolson was appointed Chairman of Rothmans International (which was later acquired by British American Tobacco) in 1975 after leaving British Airways. He was knighted that same year.2

In his capacity as Chairman of Rothmans International, he was a founding member of the American European Community Association in 1981.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. abcThe Independent, Obituary: Sir David Nicolson, Independent, 29 July 1996, accessed April 2019
  2. Revolvy, David Nicolson,, undated, accessed April 2019