Karren Brady, Baroness Brady CBE is a British sporting director, politician, television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, author and novelist who is highly in demand as a business speaker.
She is well known as “The First Lady of Football”. Her story began in the advertising world, working for Saatchi & Saatchi, and by the age of 20, she had become a director at the popular sports newspaper; David Sullivan’s.
While at the company, Karren spotted an advert for the sale of Birmingham City F.C. in the Financial Times, when the club was in receivership and persuaded David to buy it and let her run it – at just 23 years of age, she was a football director.
She oversaw the company’s flotation in 1997, thus becoming the youngest managing director of a UK plc, and in 2002, she became the first woman to hold such a post in the top flight of English football when the team was promoted to the Premier League.
She left in 2009 when David Sullivan and his business partner David Gold sold the club for £81.5 million, but a year later she was appointed vice-chairman of West Ham United following a change of ownership of the club.
Alongside her involvement in football, Karren has some other business involvements, including commitments to and investments in Channel 4, Syco, Arcadia and Mothercare. Her work as an advisor and business speaker on The Apprentice saw her engaging with, analysing and often berating the work of the hopeful contestants, making her a stern but fair character who gained the respect of the apprentices.
In September 2014, for her work as a business speaker and government advisor, Karren was made a Conservative Life Peer, becoming Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge in the City of Westminster.
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