The Vice Chairman of West Ham Football Club and Lord Sugar's trusted aide on The Apprentice, Karren Brady is one of the UK's most high-profile businesswomen. A role model for women of all ages, she has overcome adversity during her career and has had to rely on her business intuition and passion, progressing from an early career in sales to become the managing director of Birmingham City F.C. at the age of just 23.
Baroness Karren Brady of Knightsbridge CBE is an influential, high profile and respected female business leader.
First rising to prominence as the Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club in 1993, Karren is now CEO of West Ham United, one of the leading Premier League football clubs, currently valued at £800M. She is also senior non-executive director of Syco Entertainment and non-executive Chairman of leading retail multinational Taveta Investments which owns global brands such as Topshop.
Despite her young age and a lack of football management experience when she took the helm at Birmingham City FC, her business instinct and people skills soon brought the club out of administration, transforming it into a successful and profitable PLC by 1997. Through this achievement she became the youngest manager of a publicly listed business. She remained Managing Director of Birmingham City until 2009 when it was sold, having been valued at £82M.
Her success at Birmingham City and her passion for football and business soon led to Karren's involvement with another club as Vice Chairman of West Ham United. In the years since, Karren has transformed the struggling club's fortunes; seeing it become profitable for the first time in many years within the first few months of her involvement. More recently, she has led the club in a successful bid for the Olympic Stadium.
In addition to her work in football management, Karren has also become a popular figure for her television roles and for her books. In 2006, she led the winning team in a The Apprentice Comic Relief special; in 2010, she became Lord Alan Sugars aide (alongside Nick Hewer) on the series. Known for her humour and for her fair appraisal of candidates, she assists Lord Sugar by supervising teams and providing feedback on candidate performance. Her TV role on The Apprentice may be her best known, but Karren has also appeared in a number of other programmes, including a BBC documentary about her management career called 'Inside Story' - The Real Life Manageress'. She presented the ITV GMTV show Just the Job in 2009 and has experience in presenting from a number of others. She has been interviewed numerous times on television, radio and in printed media and was the interviewee on BBC Radio 4s Desert Island Discs in 2007. Karen has written several popular books, some of which focus on succeeding as a woman in male dominated industries. A regular columnist for The Sun and for Woman and Home magazine, Karren Bradys down to earth attitude and approachability make it obvious why she is one of the UKs most influential and well-liked businesswomen.