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Guardian CEO David Pemsel on navigating the disruption affecting his organisation and sector

Media is the industry most disrupted by the digital and software revolution. The 200 year old Guardian has undergone a wholesale change to the foundational components of its business: from its operating model to its infrastructure; what it sells, to whom and how it goes to market. In this video, David talks honestly about the challenges facing his business and sector and how he and the senior team at the Guardian are doing to navigate their new world.

With more than 120 million monthly users, The Guardian is one of the most visited English language sites in the world and rivals The New York Times as a trusted site for news and opinion.

But having rejected erecting a pay wall and with advertising revenue rushing to Facebook and Google, how does The Guardian – which employs 1,700 people in offices in the UK and USA – turn global reach into revenue and profit to fund its mission of ‘protecting independent liberal journalism in perpetuity’?

David’s daunting challenge is to transform a 200 year-old business model to deal with the existential threat posed by disruptors like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – and shape a new culture for this transformed media age.

And in a world of Trump and fake news David’s battles are even more intense!

David – formerly Marketing Director for ITV – joined Guardian News & Media in 2011 and served as Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, becoming CEO in July 2015.


David Pemsel, CEO, The Guardian News & Media spoke at our Inside Innovation, Disruption and Change event in June 2017, alongside Terri Kelly, President and CEO, W.L. Gore. Watch a video of Terri here.

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