Simon has been a leader and manager for over 30 years in the armed forces, and more recently as a senior strategist and business development leader in a global defence company. He is currently running his own consultancy advising the defence industry on export issues to East Asia, with a particular emphasis on Japan, and developing courses on strategic and intercultural leadership.
During his military career, Simon was a naval logistician and spent a number of years at sea in ships and submarines, including the Falklands Conflict and on nuclear deterrent patrols. Later in his career, he spent time on personnel policy development in the Ministry of Defence and also spent a year studying defence at post graduate level at the Japanese National Institute of Defence Studies in Tokyo.
Simon also spent some years in senior officer education, teaching defence studies, defence management and defence campaign planning to future military leaders from over 50 countries and then spent 4 years as a senior diplomat at the British Embassy in Tokyo, contributing to a redevelopment of the bilateral defence relationship. His final military appointment was at the Defence Leadership and Management Centre at Shrivenham, where he led a series of programmes for top level leaders of defence, in strategic leadership, management and defence acquisition, and development of board culture in defence. This also included introduction of the IOD Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction into the Ministry of Defence.
He spent three years in industry at BAE Systems, initially devising a strategy for entry to the closed Japanese defence market and then in support of a major fighter aircraft sales campaign which ended in December 2011, after which he left to set up his own consultancy.