Former government minister confirmed as Executive Chair for WMG at Warwick Uni

Margot James

The University of Warwick has appointed former Minister Margot James as the new Executive Chair of WMG. She takes up the role in April.

The University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Croft said: “This is a fantastic appointment. Margot brings a wealth of leadership experience from Government and industry to WMG.

She is ideally placed to lead WMG as it celebrates its 40thAnniversary year as it continues to grow and diversify, building on the outstanding foundations established under its former Chairman the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya”.

Margot James served as Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with responsibility for Digital, Telecoms and the Creative Industries, piloting the Data Protection Bill through Parliament, incorporating GDPR into UK law. Previously she served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with responsibility for small businesses, consumers and corporate governance, including labor markets.

In 1985, Margot founded Shire Health Group which she grew to over 100 staff, having created a new market for industry sponsored public health campaigns.In 2004 she successfully transitioned Shire Health Group to the multinational WPP.Subsequently, she served on the Europe, Middle East and Africa Board of Ogilvy Mather, leading their European healthcare programmes.

Margot said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Executive Chair of WMG, University of Warwick.It will be a real privilege to work with the exceptional academics and researchers from industry who are based at, or partnered with, WMG to grow this unique institution.I would like to pay tribute to the vision and dedication of WMG’s founder and chairman; the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya who led WMG in a constant quest for the latest innovations and new technologies.

“As well as world leading research with impact, WMG are educating the next generation of engineers and technologists.Throughout my career in business and government I have championed the need to expand opportunities for diverse groups of young people and I am inspired by the range of different opportunities on offer at WMG.”

“I look forward to bringing to WMG my experience as minister for digital and the creative industries, and prior to that business minister, as well as my time spent building up my business which provided marketing insights and services to the healthcare industry.”

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “WMG plays a highly important role within the region and with my knowledge of Margot, and experience of working with her, I am sure that she will provide strong leadership enabling WMG to continue its beneficial impact in the region”.

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, who worked closely with late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya for many years, stated “I am pleased to see Margot James with whom I worked closely in government appointed to this post. Margot’s thorough understanding of the national policy debate and her experience of leading and working with organisations across a range of sectors, and her personal drive and enthusiasm will be ideal for WMG.”