Independent Director of CBS Corporation
Barbara Byrne is former Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at Barclays PLC and at Lehman Brothers, the first woman to be named Vice Chairman at either firm. Barbara started her investment banking career in Lehman Brothers’ Energy Group, following four years at Mobil Corporation and expanded her client base to advising companies from diverse industries in rapidly changing market and technology environments. In addition to holding senior leadership positions in both the Energy and Technology Investment Banking Groups, Barbara Co-Chaired Barclays Senior Client Coverage Council charged with identifying and driving best in class client centered effective coverage and solutions.
Barbara is a trusted advisor to leaders of global companies and organizations. Over the course of her career, Barbara built client partnerships with leading global companies in the energy, technology and consumer industrial industries. Barbara’s judgment has been sought by CEOs and corporate boards as she led teams which pioneered unique financial and team approaches to strategic corporate challenges. These engagements resulted in many “first of its kind” financings and transactions that enhanced both her clients’ and her Firm’s competitive position and value. Barbara values transparent communication to build high integrity, resilient, impactful partnerships to achieve strategic goals for organizations and their stakeholders.
While at Barclays, Barbara led a number of initiatives targeted at social impact and partnerships of NGOs, Governments and clients to invest commercial solutions to social challenges. She led Barclays engagement with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where she was a member of the Gender Parity Task Force.
Barbara is a director of CBS Corporation (member of the Audit Committee, and Chairman of the CEO Search Committee) and is a trustee of the Institute of International Education. She is a former member of the British American Business Council, New York City Board (2013-2017), and of the board of trustees of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley (2006-2016). She is also a Lifetime Member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
American Banker named Barbara in the top 5 of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” for 8 consecutive years through 2017. She received American Banker’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Finance in October 2018. Barbara is a frequent keynote speaker at events and forums including The World Bank, The United Nations, The New America Foundation and The World Economic Forum in Davos and New York (on the Gender Initiative) in addition to guest market commentary for Bloomberg and CNBC.
Barbara attended Mount Holyoke College as a first generation scholarship student from neighboring Holyoke, Massachusetts. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics. Barbara’s first job was taking thorns off roses at her aunt and uncles’ flower shop. There are days where this skill serves her well in her personal and professional life. Barbara met her husband Tom at a Williams College Club Party in New York City. Neither went to Williams, but both had heard that the Club threw good parties. They have three daughters and one son and maintain their principal residence in Princeton, New Jersey.