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Howard Gough

Howard is a seasoned, internationally experienced CEO who has spent most of his career in Healthcare. Most recently as CEO of EMEA for Cigna, a Fortune 20 health services and insurance company, where he drove transformational growth of a multibillion portfolio both organically and through acquisitions and joint ventures.

Howard has lived and worked internationally for the last 16 years in the US, China and for the last 8 years in the United Arab Emirates. He has held P&L responsibility across European, African & Asian markets.

In addition to supporting future generations of leaders as a mentor and coach, Howard also acts as a strategic advisor to healthcare foundations,  disruptive healthcare platforms and healthcare transformation initiatives across the GCC.

Throughout his career, Howard has always been passionate about building high performance teams and developing talent through a coaching led approach. As a mentor, Howard works with his clients to unlock their full potential by building deep and trusted relationships that support, enable and empower mentees to stretch and challenge themselves.

Howard held a variety of senior leadership positions at Cigna a global leader in health services and insurance. He joined in 2006 when they acquired a health tech start up (Vielife) that he was a founder of in 1999. Post acquisition, Howard relocated to the US and in addition to the acquisition integration, he led commercial growth for Health Management services across the US for Cigna before being asked to become Chief Growth Officer for Cigna International Expatriate Benefits business unit. In that role Howard was instrumental for acquisitions in Europe, new market entries across Asia and transformational global new product/segment launches.


China was identified as a ”go deep” market for Cigna in 2012 and Howard moved to Shanghai and was seconded to a JV with China Merchants Bank to drive Health. Whilst there, Howard became regional CEO for ME&AP. After 3 years Howard moved to Dubai and in 2015 became CEO for EMEA and Government Solutions until 2020.

Prior to Vielife and Cigna, Howard began his career as a qualified Chartered Accountant, built a Management Consultant practice and then followed an entrepreneurial path in the FMCG marketing agency sector.

Howard is married to Suzanne and they have two grown up children who live in the UK. A passionate golfer, Howard regularly travels to homes in the UK and Spain but resides in Dubai. Howard completed the Henley Executive Coaching course and is ICF and ACC certified.