Portrait of new Premier League CEO: “Think if you’re not paranoid you’re going to be complacent”

3 October 2019

Photo: Getty Images David Pemsel, the newly appointed CEO for the Premier League, seems like a modern leader with thoughts about leadership that are foreign to the traditional football industry.

The 51-year old Chelsea fan was responsible for several digital transformations, notably turning The Guardian from heavily loss making to a break even enterprise.

Most of his career, Pemsel has led organisations that were going through major changes. And the Premier League is facing a new digital era, but desperately needs direction after a long time without long-term leadership.

Pemsel brings modern thoughts about leadership that are quite foreign to the traditional football industry.

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

Britain’s leading liberal newspaper has long provided a launchpad for its executives to unexpected leadership positions in other organisations. A decade ago Carolyn McCall left the Guardian CEO’s position to take charge of budget airline Easyjet and, now a Dame, holds the same role at ITV.

Her successor, Andrew Miller, returned to the City as a partner with the leading private equity group Terra Firma having accumulated an £800m cash reserve at the paper’s Kings Cross HQ.

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