David Pemsel

Chair of Fashion Council, Entrepreneur & Former CEO at The Guardian Media Group

David Pemsel

Chair of Fashion Council, Entrepreneur & Former CEO at The Guardian Media Group

David Pemsel

Chair of Fashion Council, Entrepreneur & Former CEO at The Guardian Media Group

David Pemsel

Chair of Fashion Council, Entrepreneur & Former CEO at The Guardian Media Group

David Pemsel

David Pemsel

David has a rich and diverse professional background which brings him a wealth of leadership experience. He talks passionately, and with great candour and humility, about the lessons and insights gleaned from his time as CEO leading through transformation; the highs and lows of entrepreneurship; and learning how be a Chair and letting go! He has a unique leadership philosophy emphasising the importance of resilience, determination, and the acceptance of failure as an integral part of the journey to success.

Themes

Building Agility
Innovation and Disruption
Leadership in Uncertainty

Travels from

London, UK

Biography

As CEO of Guardian Media Group, David was responsible for the remarkable digital transformation of the business by adopting agile working methodologies and putting data driven, customer centric practices at the heart. This resulted in The Guardian going from a forecast loss of $100m in 2015 to its first operating profit for 25 years in 2019. The three-year business plan to transform the Guardian that David implemented has been described as one of the most significant media turnarounds in recent history and has laid the foundation for how quality journalism could be funded around the world.

The strategy was built around growing a far deeper set of relationships with the Guardian’s audience, doubling down on its purpose, a re-imagining of the journalism, a sustainable business model and a newly focused, data driven, agile, digital organisation that reflected the paper’s independence and mission.

David can share what it is to lead in a context of constant change, where the only certainty is disruption. He describes with extraordinary candour what it’s like to face unprecedented corporate challenges as a leader, the need for constant and transparent dialogue with employees, the introduction of OKR’s (objectives and key results) and small cross-divisional teams to encourage fast-paced innovation, the need to lead through purpose, as well as never losing sight of why you exist as an organisation.

David can also share his most recent experience of being an entrepreneur; the importance of accepting – and learning from – failure, and knowing when to walk away. He will talk of leading from the front, middle and back and knowing when to step in and when to step back – and why leaders have to push themselves to address the issues of inclusivity and diversity.

In his current role as Chair of the Fashion Council, a non-profit organisation that supports emerging designers in the fashion and creative industries, David is learning to navigate his new reality of letting go and ‘not doing’ but supporting the exec team to implement the strategy.

David is also a voting member of BAFTA. He was voted Media Leader of the Year in 2019 and regularly speaks on leadership at London Business School.

 

 

 

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