Annette Thomas has a 25-year track record in leading global publishing and data analytics businesses, across academic, educational and consumer media.
She was appointed managing director of Nature Publishing Group in 2000, later becoming chief executive of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, and in 2012 was appointed chief executive of Macmillan Science and Education, one of the world’s leading publishers, where she oversaw a significant period of growth and the merger between Macmillan and Springer Science and Business Media, says The Guardian. While at Macmillan she also founded Digital Science, a pioneering startup incubator serving the academic research community.
Most recently Annette was chief executive of Web of Science Group, a data, analytics and software business focused on research and higher education, where she successfully transformed the group and delivered rapid growth, leading it to list on the New York Stock Exchange as part of Clarivate Analytics.
A scientist by training, Annette began her career as an editor at the journal Nature after having earned an undergraduate degree with honours in biochemistry and biophysics from Harvard University and a PhD in cell biology and neuroscience from Yale University. She currently serves as a trustee of Yale University and a non-executive director of Cambridge University’s Press and Assessment businesses.
GMG board chair Neil Berkett said: “The hard work of the past three years has put GMG in a stronger position, while also making our business more digital, more international and more reader centric. Our journalism has had a stellar 12 months, and remains world class. Even so, it's clear that we'll continue to face big headwinds in the global media sector in 2020 and beyond.
“Annette is a highly experienced leader of mission-driven businesses. Her track record is exceptional - she has consistently delivered sustainable growth through deep engagement with end-users, championing innovative new business models with more open access to content and data, and building diverse and inclusive management teams.
“All of this makes her the ideal person to lead the next phase of GMG's evolution in partnership with our editor-in-chief Katharine Viner.”
Annette Thomas said: “I am delighted to be joining Guardian Media Group as chief executive. The Guardian brand, its progressive perspective, global reach, and unique ownership structure with its values safeguarded by the Scott Trust are all significant strengths in these challenging times.
“The Guardian is demonstrating that establishing a deep and loyal relationship with readers, empowering them with information and delighting them with insight, creates an opportunity to develop new business models.
“The need and appetite for trusted high-quality journalism, grounded in facts, has never been greater. I’ve always admired the quality and breadth of the Guardian’s journalism, and I am looking forward to working with Katharine Viner and this exceptional team to develop a financially sustainable future built upon these values and principles.”
Annette Thomas will take up her new role on 2 March 2020. Anna Bateson will continue as interim chief executive until this date, before returning to her role as chief customer officer.