Guardian Media Group names Thomas as new chief executive
Annette Thomas, former head of one of the world’s largest specialist publishers, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Guardian Media Group.
The new appointment comes following the company’s main subsidiary recording a small operating profit for the first time in many years. The profit is increasingly funded by contributions from readers.
Thomas will take up her role at the parent company of the Guardian and the Observer at the start of March.
Thomas started as an editor on the science journal Nature. From there, she joined Macmillan Science and Education, one of the world’s largest specialist publishers. Recently, she was leading education data business Web of Science in the run-up to its flotation on the stock market.
Neil Berkett, the chair of the board, which made the appointment, said, “Our journalism has had a stellar 12 months, and remains world class. Even so, it’s clear that we’ll continue to face big headwinds in the global media sector in 2020 and beyond.”
“Her track record is exceptional – she has consistently delivered sustainable growth through deep engagement with end-users, championing innovative new business models with more open access to content and data, and building diverse and inclusive management teams.,” he added.
“The Guardian brand, its progressive perspective, global reach, and unique ownership structure with its values safeguarded by the Scott Trust are all significant strengths in these challenging times,” Thomas said.
“The need and appetite for trusted high-quality journalism, grounded in facts, has never been greater. I’ve always admired the quality and breadth of the Guardian’s journalism, and I am looking forward to working with Katharine Viner and this exceptional team to develop a financially sustainable future built upon these values and principles.”
Annette sits as a trustee on the board of Yale University, while also holding a non-executive role overseeing Cambridge University Press and the Cambridge Assessment exam business. She will be replacing CEO David Pemsel.
Thomas holds a PhD from Yale University in cell biology and neuroscience.