John Osborn spent his career in the retail industry, serving as Managing Director of Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Warehouse and latterly as Chief Executive of Alexon Group PLC for almost 20 years. Since retiring in 2009 he has held a number of non-executive roles. He is currently a non-executive director of Squire's Garden Centres PLC.
John was born locally and educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Having heard the CBSO performing when he was a child he developed a lifelong love of classical music.
John was elected to the Board of the CBSO in November 2012, and in November 2013 became a trustee of the CBSO Development Trust, in which capacity he has helped to raise an initial £2 million for the orchestra's private Endowment fund. He has made significant personal contributions to the work of the CBSO, establishing an Endowment for the orchestra’s chamber music programme and making a £250,000 gift to support Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s position as Music Director.