Baroness Karren Brady CBE is an award-winning businesswoman, sporting executive, politician, television personality, author and novelist. Starting her career straight after leaving school, Karren has gone on to become the most recognisable woman in business in the UK. From acting Vice-Chairman of West Ham United FC and being elevated to the House of Lords in 2014, to her recurrent role as Lord Sugar’s assistant on the hit show The Apprentice, Karren has dominated across multiple platforms.
Karren is CEO of West Ham United Football Club, one of the leading London Premier League football, as well as Senior Non-Executive Director of Syco Entertainment, a company jointly owned by Simon Cowell and Sony and leading retail multinational Taveta Investments, owner of global brands including Topshop.
“the most recognisable woman in business in the UK”
Karren began her career in advertising sales straight after leaving school. In 1993, aged just 23, she was appointed Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club when it was in administration. Four years later in 1997, she became the youngest Managing Director of a UK plc when she floated the club on the London Stock Exchange.
“Under her leadership, … one of the five fastest-growing brands in world football.”
Having turned Birmingham City around, Karren sold the club in 2009 for £82,000,000. She joined the board of West Ham United in January 2010, and negotiated a successful bid for the club’s move to London’s iconic 60,000-seat Olympic Stadium. Under her leadership, West Ham has become one of the five fastest-growing brands in world football.
Karren’s wealth of experience and passion for supporting entrepreneurs led to her appointment as the government’s Small Business Ambassador by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in 2013. In December of the same year, she was named in the 2014 New Year Honours, receiving a CBE for her services to entrepreneurship and women in business. Later in 2014, Karren was elevated to the House of Lord’s by the Prime Minister, taking the title Baroness Karren Brady of Knightsbridge.
“Business Woman of the Year, Most Inspirational Woman of the Year… Spirit of Everywoman award…”
Karren’s commitment to championing the cause of women in business has long been recognised. She serves on the government’s Women in Sport Advisory Board to help increase the status, influence and participation of women in sport. She has been named Business Woman of the Year, Most Inspirational Woman of the Year, received the coveted Spirit of Everywoman Award in recognition of her contribution in changing the landscape for women in business, and was also named 10th in The Guardian’s 50 Most Influential Women in British sport. Furthermore, she is Chairman of Mentore, a business that uses mentoring to accelerate the development of female business talent and increase diversity at senior levels in companies across the UK.
Karren was invited to appear as a celebrity contestant on Comic Relief Does the Apprentice, which lead to her involvement in series 4 and 5 of the main BBC One programme as a guest interviewer in 2008 and in 2009. Later in 2009, Karren was announced as Sugar’s new assistant for series 6 of The Apprentice, replacing Margaret Mountford, a role she still holds today.
“one of the most sought-after speakers in the world”
Karren is one of the most sought-after speakers in the world and has worked in over 30 countries, motivating and advising global businesses through her award-winning speeches. She is also author of Sunday Times best-selling autobiography ‘Strong Woman’.
Charity also plays a large part in Karren’s life – she is Patron of The Stroke Association, an Ambassador for Wellchild and the Teenage Cancer trust.