Ex-PwC Consultant installed as Guardian Media Group CFO

02 July 2020 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Former PwC Consultant Keith Underwood has been named as the new Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Guardian Media Group. Underwood is used to fulfilling this combined remit, having spent the last two years in the same job at Channel 4.

In a release published by The Guardian newspaper, Guardian Media Group Chief Executive Officer Annette Thomas said, “I am pleased to welcome Keith to the Guardian. He brings us extensive experience in the sector and deep expertise in leading innovative change in highly respected mission-driven media businesses. I am looking forward to working with him as we continue to develop a financially sustainable future for the Guardian.”

The news comes just half a year after Thomas herself was appointed to her current role, after the exit of former CEO David Pemsel. As the Guardian Media Group continues to undergo a series of changes at the top of the company, Underwood has taken up the combined CFO/COO role as of late June, following a 22-year career in media and professional services.

Keith Underwood, CFO at Gardian Media Group

Having initially started work as a Consultant at PwC in 1998, Underwood joined BSkyB in 2002 as a Senior Strategy Analyst. He went on to hold senior positions with Discovery Communications and Parable VR, before being recruited by Channel 4 in 2009 with an initial brief to drive digital business transformation. Underwood later led the project to reinvent and re-launch Channel 4’s video-on-demand service, All4; helped transform Channel 4’s digital development capabilities; and delivered a major change in the operating model of the business.

Overall, he spent over 10 years in a series of senior executive roles with Channel 4, most recently as its CFO/COO, responsible for finance, technology, content management, broadcast and corporate operations, and workspace. Underwood remains a board member of advanced digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult, and previously served as Chair of Freeview and a Board Director of Digital UK and YouView.

Commenting on his new role, Keith Underwood remarked, “The Guardian is one of the world’s leading news publishers, and I’ve long admired its journalism, its brand and its record of digital innovation. I’m very pleased to be joining at this critical time for the media industry, and I look forward to working with Annette and everyone at GMG to help to develop the business.”