Charles Allen, Baron Allen of Kensington

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The Lord Allen of Kensington
Born 4 January 1957 (1957-01-04) (age 59)
Lanarkshire, Scotland[1]
Nationality British
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1991–present
Title CEO of Granada Group (1996–2000)
Non-exec. director of Tesco plc (1999–2010)[2]
Exec. chairman of Granada Media plc (2000–04)
CEO of ITV plc (2004–07)
Chairman of Global Radio (2007–present)
Exec. chairman of EMI (2008–10)
Chairman of Executive Board of the Labour Party (March 2012-present)
Chairman of British Red Cross (2013–2014)
Chairman of ISS A/S (2013–present)

Charles Lamb Allen, Baron Allen of Kensington, CBE (born 4 January 1957) is a British businessman and broadcaster who is the Chairman of Global Radio, Chairman of 2 Sisters Food Group, non executive director of Virgin Media, Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs, Chairman at Moelis & Company, and Chairman of the Executive Board of the British Labour Party. He was Chief Executive of Granada Group from 1996 to 2000, Executive Chairman of Granada Media plc from 2000 to 2004, Chief Executive of ITV plc from its formation in 2004 until 2007 and Chairman of the music company EMI from 2008 to 2010. In March 2012, he was appointed by Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, to the position of Chairman of the Executive Board of the party. He was the chairman of the British Red Cross from 1 January to 31 December 2013.[3][4] In August 2013, he was elected chairman of the Danish facility service group ISS A/S.[5][6]


He joined Granada plc in 1991, originally as CEO of Granada Television, before becoming Group Chief Executive in 1996. During his time at Granada, he was instrumental in the takeover of Forte Group for £3.9 billion in 1996, and the takeovers of LWT and Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television in 1994 and 1999 respectively. In 2001 Granada Group merged with Compass to form Granada Compass, then demerged into Granada Media plc and Compass Group. He remained with Granada when the two companies demerged, and became Executive Chairman of Granada plc in 2001. When Granada merged with Carlton Communications in 2004 to form ITV plc, Allen became the new company's Chief Executive.[7]

ITV plc announced on 8 August 2006 that Allen was stepping down after fifteen years with the company. In a statement, ITV plc said that Allen would remain at the company while head-hunters carried out the process of finding a replacement. Finance director John Cresswell was appointed interim chief executive from 1 October 2006, working alongside Allen to ensure an "orderly transition".[8] Allen's eventual replacement, Michael Grade, took over on 8 January 2007.


Since 2007, Allen has been Chairman of the largest commercial radio group in Britain, Global Radio, which owns the Heart network.

Other interests[edit]

Allen has been Chief Advisor to the British Government at the Home Office and is a Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs Private Equity. He is also a non-executive director of the London Olympic Committee,[9] a non-executive director of Tesco[10] and a non-executive director of Virgin Media, and is involved with the natural products start-up Natural Health International.[11] He has also been appointed non-executive chairman at EMI Music, the music label behind Kylie Minogue and Coldplay.[12] Allen successfully chaired the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

In a 2008 annual survey by The Independent of the UK's most influential gay and lesbian people, Allen re-entered the list at number 22, dropping seven places from 2006.[13]


Allen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2003 New Year Honours "for services to the XVII Commonwealth Games".[14] He was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours "for services to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics".[15][16]

On 25 May 2012, he was named as Mayor of the Olympic Village in London, for the duration of the Olympics.

On 1 August 2013, it was announced that Sir Charles was to become a Labour peer in a list of new appointments to the House of Lords.[17] He was created a Life Peer on 2 October 2013 taking the title Baron Allen of Kensington, of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.[18]

On 20th May 2016, Allen was appointed as a member of the Lords Communications Committee.


  1. ^ "The Charles Allen years". The Guardian. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". Tesco. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "British Red Cross appoints new Chairman of the Board of Trustees". 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  4. ^ "British Red Cross appoints David Bernstein as new Chair". 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  5. ^ "Board of Directors - ISS World - Group Website". ISS World. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  6. ^ "Charles Lamb Allen director's profile". Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  7. ^ ITV plc, accessed 6 July 2006.
  8. ^ ITV plc press release, issued 2006-08-08, accessed 2006-09-30
  9. ^ "London Olympic Committee board". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  10. ^ "Tesco board of directors". Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Natural Health International shareholders details". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  12. ^ Andrews, Amanda (16 January 2009). "Ex-ITV boss Charles Allen named chairman of EMI Music". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "The IoS pink list 2008". The Independent. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56797. p. 7. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60009. p. 1. 31 December 2011.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60245. p. 16079. 21 August 2012.
  17. ^ Craig, Jon (2013-08-01). "JCB Boss Sir Anthony Bamford Made Tory Peer". Sky News. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60648. p. 19575. 4 October 2013.
Preceded by
Chief Executive of ITV plc
Succeeded by
Michael Grade
(Executive chairman)