Karren Brady: Biography highlights

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.

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Full biography of Karren Brady

Karren Brady’s background

Baroness (Karren) Brady CBE, businesswoman, peer, ‘first lady of football’, and Alan Sugar’s aide on The Apprentice, became MD of Birmingham City at the age of just 23 and is now one of the UK’s best-known business personalities.

After starting out in advertising, Karren’s first contact with David Sullivan, then owner of Sport Newspapers, was through selling him air-time on LBC. So impressed was the businessman that he employed Karren and she was quickly appointed a director. Upon hearing that Birmingham City had gone into receivership and was for sale for £1, she famously persuaded David that she could run the club. He bought it and installed Karren as Managing Director.

Within 12 months Karren had turned the club around, recording a profit. In four years she became the youngest MD of a PLC when the business was floated with a value of £25million. She steered the club to huge successes on paper and on the pitch and through the many challenges, the football and business worlds bring. Karren left the club when it was sold for £81million. When David Sullivan and his business partner David Gold bought West Ham United, Karren was appointed Vice-Chairman where, amongst other things, she negotiated the team’s move to the Olympic Stadium.

In her characteristically no-nonsense but entertaining way, Karren speaks about running the business side of a major football club – through promotion, relegation, controversy and even brain surgery. Known for her resilience and focus, she describes how to combat the fear of failure and energise the team, and why hunger is always your most valuable asset regardless of your organisation or industry.

Aside from football, Karren has served on the boards of Mothercare, Arcadia, Channel 4 and Sport England. She is an active member of the Lords and a Government small business ambassador and advises the parliamentary Women in Sport Advisory Board. She has written autobiographies, business books and novels, and has written for a range of national and local newspaper titles.

 

 

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Karren Brady Speaking
Karren Brady Speaking
03:49
Sage UK Ltd

On behalf of Sage World 2010, I would like to thank you for your participation in the event earlier this month. The feedback received has been fantastic, and your involvement certainly contributed to the success of the event.'

Institute of Directors North-West

'On behalf of the IoD North West, may I express my thanks for your contribution to the Conference last week. Your speech was a perfect round up of the day, with personal insights and inspirational advice. Feedback has been tremendously positive, and you and the other speakers have given me a hard act to follow for next year's line up. A nice problem to have!'

Darrell Matthews
Investec

'...the feedback on your presentation at our Monaco conference has been exceptional. It certainly seems that you struck a chord with our staff, many of whom have said your presentation was both the highlight of the weekend and a really motivational experience'

Chris Meyer
Deutsche Bank

'...everyone was wondering how on earth we could top Karren. We have had great feedback from both reps and students alike as to how well Karren spoke and how she pitched her level perfectly to our student population. Please pass on our positive feedback and thanks to her.'

Kate Temple-Brown
Hewlett Packard

'Karren's after luncheon speech was informative, motivational, humorous where needed and highly inspirational. She also agreed to a Q&A session as well and spent 30-40 minutes answering questions from the audience. The audience all commented on what an excellent speaker she was, how warm and engaging and extremely humorous. By far one of the best speakers we have enjoyed at City Luncheon. 10 out of 10.'

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