Management team

By working together we can utilise our strengths, exploit opportunities, mitigate risk and overcome the inevitable challenges far more effectively.

The Alliance Leadership Board

The Alliance Leadership Board (ALB) provides governance of the Alliance on behalf of the parties. It provides a forum for joint review of the Alliance Managing Director’s delivery against the overall Dreadnought Programme and for resolution of any issues between the parties.

The ALB has a representative from each of the three parties that are accountable in their own organisations for the Dreadnought Programme and other related programmes.

It is led by an Independent Chair, Sir Peter Gershon.

The Alliance Managing Director, Alex McMillan, leads an Alliance Management Committee responsible for driving delivery of the Programme to performance, time and cost, holding the three supplier organisations (Submarine Delivery Agency, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce) to account for delivery of their work scope.

Meet the board

Sir Peter Gershon, Independent Chairman

Sir Peter Gershon is Chairman of Dreadnought Alliance. He is also Chairman of Enfinium Group Limited, Join Dementia Research, a Trustee of The Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, and sits on the Board of The Investor Forum.

Educated at Reigate Grammar School and Churchill College, Cambridge, Sir Peter is a British businessman and former civil servant. He was Chairman of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance from 2014 to 2019, National Grid plc between 2012 and 2021, and Tate & Lyle Plc from 2009 until 2017

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and has held senior executive positions in the UK computer, telecommunications and defence industries, as well as being the first Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce.

In 2003/2004, Sir Peter, at the request of the Prime Minister and Chancellor, led a major review of efficiency in the UK public sector which recommended significant savings.

Sir Peter was awarded the CBE in 2000 for services to the defence industry and was knighted in 2004 for his work on public procurement. In 2016, he won the FTSE100 Non-Executive Director of the Year award. He is married with three children and six grandchildren.

Alex McMillan, Dreadnought Alliance Managing Director

Alex has a wealth of expertise and experience in engineering and manufacturing across various industries.

Alex is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE. He has led a number of businesses at the senior level. Before joining the Dreadnought Alliance, Alex held the position of UK & Ireland Managing Director with Alstom, with responsibility for a large multi-disciplinary team delivering major rolling stock programmes.

Starting his career in 1988 with a mechanical engineering apprenticeship at Anderson Mining, Alex had a number of assembly and test management roles and completed his engineering degree and MBA. In 1997 he joined Weir Pumps; leading all manufacturing, from fabrication and welding to machining and test, for pumps used mainly for nuclear and petrochemical industries.

In 2000, Alex joined Rolls-Royce, initially managing the build of the Pegasus engine for the Harrier Jump Jet and then the V2500 engine for the Airbus A320 series. He next spent three years leading the customer management team and then moved on to lead all engine assembly before becoming site Managing Director in 2010.

Alex spent the next decade leading a number of major businesses in Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, with his final role having responsibility for the build and test of all Rolls-Royce engines globally. He was also Vice-Chairman of a Rolls-Royce joint venture with EgyptAir, based in Cairo, and a non-executive director for the Scottish Prison Service.

In early July 2022, Alex joined the Dreadnought Alliance team and officially took over the Managing Director role in mid-August. He joined at a pivotal time in the programme as the most significant and challenging next phase of Dreadnought – Delivery Phase 3 began earlier in the year.

Steve Timms, Managing Director, Submarines

Steve was appointed Managing Director of BAE Systems Submarines from 1st March, 2021.

He brings to the role a strong track record of managing large-scale, complex defence programmes, having gained extensive experience in a wide and varied 41-year career with BAE Systems.

Having started as an apprentice in the Company’s Air sector, his career has seen him progress to a number of senior board level positions, where he has successfully led the delivery of several high-profile programmes, both in the UK and internationally.

Working across all aspects of a product’s lifecycle, from early phase concept design, into build and in-service, this experience culminated in being asked to lead the Submarines business.

It is an area of the business he was already familiar with having supported the Dreadnought programme in late 2017 and 2018 when he was Group Manufacturing Director, in the Company’s Chief Technology Office.  

Before joining Submarines, Steve was the Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships for 2 years. During that time he was responsible for building up the capability required to deliver the UK’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) programme, as well as overseeing the move from design into build of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The success of this programme had also led to international commitments from both the Australian and Canadian navies.

The majority of Steve’s career with BAE Systems has been spent in the Air sector, where as an apprentice he gained first-hand experience of the need to invest in and develop people. This has stayed with him throughout his career and proved valuable as he progressed to a number of senior positions, including on the Eurofighter Typhoon and international Hawk programmes.

Steve has a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick. His contribution to the industry was recognised when he was made a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

He is married with two children.  

Dr Timothy Sheldon, Director of Submarine Acquisition, Submarine Delivery Agency

Dr Sheldon joined the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as part of the Defence Engineering and Science Group Fast Track Stream, following a sponsored degree in Chemistry at Edinburgh University in 1993 and a PhD in Organic Chemistry at Oxford University in 1996. His initial appointments were in the MoD Procurement Executive, MoD Centre and the Defence Engineering and Research Agency (DERA).

These were followed by a two-year project management post at the Defence Procurement Agency, leading the tri-service Dismounted Close Combat Trainer Project. Promoted in 2001, he subsequently joined the Defence Fixed Networks (DFN) Integrated Project Team (IPT) at the Defence Communications Services Agency (DCSA) based in Corsham.

Initially he was responsible for the provision of mobility and overseas fixed telephony services, however he latterly led a team to renegotiate and extend the length of the £1.5Bn Defence Fixed Telecommunication Services (DFTS) programme.

In April 2004, he moved to become the Assistant Director with lead responsibility for implementing the DCSA change programme, where he shaped and programme managed the delivery of significant improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of defence communication and IT services.

Steve Carlier, President Submarines, Rolls-Royce Defence

Steve joined Rolls-Royce in 1988 and, after a brief spell in its NEI subsidiary, has spent the rest of his career in the Submarines business. He has undertaken a broad variety of roles across Engineering, Manufacturing, Finance, Programme Management and Commercial functions.

Notable roles include leading the Astute and Dreadnought Class programmes for Rolls-Royce, a tenure as Commercial & Programmes Director and latterly, an extended time as Operations Director where Steve leads Rolls-Royce Submarine Limited’s operating businesses and functions; comprising some 1,500 people at the Submarines business headquarters at Raynesway in Derby. The latter role subsequently being restructured to incorporate programme leadership of Submarine acquisition programmes and attendant support at the shipbuilder.

In January 2022, Steve was appointed as the President of the Rolls-Royce Submarines business and is part of the Defence Leadership Team for Rolls-Royce.