Stephen Carter, Baron Carter of Barnes

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The Lord Carter of Barnes

Minister for Communications,
Technology and Broadcasting
In office
10 October 2008 – 23 July 2009
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byMargaret Hodge
Succeeded byBarbara Follett
Downing Street Chief of Staff
In office
23 January 2008 – 10 October 2008
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byTom Scholar
Succeeded byJeremy Heywood
Personal details
Born (1964-02-12) 12 February 1964 (age 56)
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Aberdeen,
London Business School

Stephen Andrew Carter, Baron Carter of Barnes, CBE (born 12 February 1964), is a Scottish businessman and politician.[1][2] Starting his career as CEO of J Walter Thompson UK & Ireland[3] and COO of NTL UK & Ireland[3] (now Virgin Media),[4] in 2003 Carter became the founding CEO of Ofcom (Office of Communications) in the United Kingdom.[5] He was subsequently the group CEO of Brunswick Group from 2007[6] until 2008, when he stepped down to join the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown,[7] Initially serving in 2008 as Brown's chief of strategy, principal advisor,[1][8] and the Downing Street Chief of Staff,[8] he was the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting from 2008 to 2009.[9] Between 2010 and 2013 he held various management positions at Alcatel-Lucent,[9] and in 2013 he became the group CEO of Informa,[1] an information and events company.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Falkirk, Scotland on 12 February 1964,[3] Stephen Carter grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland.[11] His father worked for the logistics company Christian Salveson, and Carter would often travel to London with his family.[3] He was educated at Currie High School in Edinburgh.[10][11] In 1982[10] he began studying law at the University of Aberdeen,[3][10] serving as student president in 1985 and 1986. He graduated in 1987[10] with a Bachelor of Laws,[3][10] then attended Harvard Business School's[3][11] six-week advanced management program in 1997.[10] In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law (LLD) by his alma mater, Aberdeen University.[12]


JWT and NTL[edit]

Carter joined the firm J Walter Thompson (JWT) in 1986[2] as a graduate trainee,[2][3] specializing in media and technology.[11] In 1994 JWT named him managing director[3] and CEO of J Walter Thompson Company UK & Ireland.[2][3][3] He then became JWT's managing director in 1995 and chief executive in 1997.[13]

In 2000 Carter was appointed the chief operating officer and managing director of UK cable TV company NTL UK & Ireland[3] (now Virgin Media).[4] The company was deeply in debt, and Carter helped oversee complete restructuring of the UK & Ireland business.[3] Given debts of £12 billion[14] and market conditions, the company was required to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,[3] with Carter presiding over the bankruptcy proceedings.[14] The company was poised to exit Chapter 11[15] when he left in 2003.[6] His compensation payoff, rumored to be close to £1.5 million[3] with a £600,000 bonus,[15] met with criticism from shareholders,[3] and in late 2007 the company resolved a class action lawsuit brought by shareholders by paying out $9 million in compensation.[15]

Ofcom and Brunswick[edit]

On 1 March 2003[13] Carter became the founding CEO of Ofcom (Office of Communications),[1][3][5] the British government's new media regulator. Among other issues, Carter focused on reducing broadband prices and switching from analog to digital television broadcasting.[3] He also led negotiations with BT on matters such as local loop bundling.[16] Stepping down from Ofcom in the summer of 2006, he was a part of the capability review team in 2006 and 2007 that reviewed the Department for International Development.[7]

He became the group chief executive officer of Brunswick Group LLP on 1 March 2007,[6] in what was a newly created position.[5][6] He resigned from the role in January 2008 to join the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At that time, he also stepped down as a commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment & Skills and non-executive director of Royal Mail Holdings and Travis Perkins.[7]

Public positions[edit]

He returned to public life in January 2008 as chief of strategy and principal advisor for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[1][2][7] Serving as Brown's Downing Street Chief of Staff,[8] he was given responsibility for running political strategy, research, communications,[7] and the Policy Unit.[8] Carter was subsequently appointed Brown's communications minister in the House of Lords,[9][17] and in October 2008[1] he became the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for three departments simultaneously:[1][11] serving as Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting and heading the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[1] Because Carter was not a Member of Parliament, it was necessary to appoint him to the House of Lords for the ministerial positions.[18] He was created Baron Carter of Barnes, of Barnes in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on 15 October 2008,[1][19] introduced to the House of Lords by Lord Currie and Lord Puttnam. He served in the House of Lords on the front bench in his capacity as Minister.[20]

In June 2009 he was again appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for three departments: the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting.[1] As Minister for Communications, Technology & Broadcasting, he commissioned and helped write The Digital Britain Report policy document, which "set out the groundwork for subsequent policies in areas such as superfast broadband,"[9] for example the Digital Economy Act 2010.[21] Carter announced on 11 June 2009 that he would be resigning from his ministerial post[22] in July 2009,[1] shortly after the publishing of Digital Britain.[4][23]


In April 2010[24] Carter joined the French-American company Alcatel-Lucent, becoming director of marketing, strategy and communications and relocating from London to Paris.[16] His official titles as of 2010 were executive vice president and chief strategy & marketing officer.[12] Beyond serving as a managing director,[25] he became the company's president of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He returned to London and officially retired from Alcatel-Lucent in April 2013, although he continued to work on special projects for the company through that summer.[9]


Carter was appointed a director of the board of Informa,[25] an information services group,[10] in 2010.[25] In 2013, the Informa board unanimously voted to appoint him as CEO, succeeding Peter Rigby, in July 2013[25] - a role he assumed in early 2014.[26] As CEO of the company he maintained the focus on investing in subscriptions, bookings and sponsorship, as well as expanding in international conferences[4] such as the Monaco Yacht Show.[26] Under Carter, in 2016 the company acquired the American events company Penton for £1.2 billion.[4] In January 2018, Informa announced the proposed acquisition of UBM, an events group, for £3.9 billion.[27] Carter, who became chief executive of the combined group, said at that point that he would retain the other parts of Informa, including business intelligence and its academic publishing business Taylor & Francis.[28]

Boards and committees[edit]

Previously serving on the boards of companies such Travis Perkins, Royal Mail, and 2Wire,[12] he was the chairman of Ashridge Business School[7] from 2008 until 2015.[1] Carter became a trustee of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2007,[1] where he is currently a governor,[2][7] and he has been a director at Informa since 2010.[25] As of 2010 he was a vice president of UNICEF,[12] and that year UNICEF UK granted him an honorary fellowship, with Carter becoming a trustee. After becoming a director at United Utilities Group in 2014, he became chairman of the company's corporate responsibility committee in 2016. In 2017 he was named a director for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).[1]

Personal life[edit]

Carter and his wife, Anna, have two children together. His personal interests include running, Chelsea, and the arts.[2][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Lord Carter of Barnes". Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "You'd have to be tough to get Stephen Carter". The Daily Telegraph. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Davidson, Andrew (1 April 2006). "The MT interview: Stephen Carter". Management Today. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hill, Andrew (11 December 2016). "Stephen Carter, CEO, Informa – From politics to business". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Carter to head Brunswick". Financial Times. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Ex-Ofcom chief Carter joins Brunswick as CEO". Reuters. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Brown appoints former Ofcom chief as key adviser". The Guardian. 7 January 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d Parker, George (7 January 2008). "Former Ofcom chief to be top Brown aide". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Daniel (29 March 2013). "Carter to leave troubled Alcatel-Lucent". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Directorate change". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Dot to dot career of Britain's digital tsar Stephen Carter". Evening Standard. 17 June 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "Lord Carter of Barnes CBE (LLD)". Aberdeen University. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b Billings, Claire (21 January 2003). "Stephen Carter confirmed as Ofcom chief executive". Campaign Live. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b Martinson, Jane (7 September 2004). "Stephen Carter: 360 degrees". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  15. ^ a b c David Leppard (13 January 2008). "Gordon Brown's new spin doctor 'deceived shareholders'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 January 2008.[dead link]
  16. ^ a b Brown, Maggie (3 March 2010). "Lord Carter joins telecoms supplier". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  17. ^ Pickard, Jim (14 December 2009). "Who did No 10 try to hire to replace Stephen Carter". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Now it's Lord Carter". 6 October 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "16 Oct 2008 : Column 815 House of Lords". 16 October 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  21. ^ Stephen Carter entry at Informa
  22. ^ "Communications minister Lord Carter is latest to quit government". The Times. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010.
  23. ^ "Digital Britain, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills report in full" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  24. ^ ""Alcatel-Lucent appoints Stephen A. Carter as Chief Marketing, Strategy and Communication Officer"". Archived from the original (XML) on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  25. ^ a b c d e Budden, Robert (10 July 2013). "Ex-Ofcom head named chief of Informa". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  26. ^ a b Ashton, James (12 August 2017). "How Lord Carter (finally) found a niche on the international trade show circuit". The Times. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  27. ^ Frean, Amanda (31 January 2018). "Informa sails into wider waters with £3.9bn deal". The Times. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  28. ^ Sandle, Paul (29 January 2018). "Informa expects 60 million pounds in annual cost savings from UBM deal". Reuters. Retrieved 16 February 2018.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Tom Scholar
Downing Street Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Jeremy Heywood
Preceded by
Margaret Hodge
Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Barbara Follett