John Browne used to be Chief Executive of the oil company BP and was knighted in 1998 by his friend Tony Blair. The reason given was ‘services to industry’. So there might be two possible reasons for the fact that he is a Lord:
1) As a successful businessman he is a man who knows how to get things done and we need those in government
2) He was a friend of the Prime Minister
It’s possible that both of these are true, or only one, but as it turns out both of these possible reasons are much more interesting than a first glance reveals.
For now let’s say that Tony Blair was a man with many friends but you wouldn’t necessarily want all of them running your government: