Former CEO of DC THOMSON & TURNAROUND SPEAKER
Ellis Watson is a business leader whose varied career from Celador, Syco, and the Mirror Group to name a few, make him a respected and thought-provoking business and leadership speaker.
Ellis was most recently the Chairman and CEO of DC Thomson, the Scottish media group, but stepped down in 2020 after 10 years with the organisation.
His list of roles have included –
• Marketing Director at The Sun – reporting to Rupert Murdoch
• CEO of Celador – taking Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? to over 100 countries.
• MD of Mirror Group Newspapers,
• Head of John Menzies
• Board member of FirstGroup
• CEO of Simon Cowell’s Syco Corporation
In many of his roles, he has helped turn the fortunes of the brand around or led them through periods of great success.
At the First Group, he turned around the fortunes of Greyhound across the Americas, bringing in better service, and changing the culture of low morale. As CEO of Simon Cowell’s Syco Corporation, he took an array of record labels and programme formats, including the X Factor and Got Talent formats, to international success, while at DC Thomson he steered the business into a more resilient organisation by transforming the group’s business models, brands and commercial direction.
In his role at DC Thomson, Ellis steered a traditional firm that had been family run for six generations into a future-proofed organisation. He shed a third of the staff, increased the turnover at the papers and moved The Beano, part of the fabric of the company, from print to digital.
Ellis Watson challenges, motivates and inspires audiences with original insights and enthusiasm and humour that is rare amongst senior business figures. He is a firm believer that – There’s no point in waiting and hoping for a wave; go and create one yourself.”
He covers themes such as –
• Disruption – How it can lead to positive change
• Working Under Pressure – how to inspire passion
• Taking on Challenges – how to progress from mission statements to true company culture, embracing quality, integrity, and diversity.
“Ellis’content and delivery was excellent and matched the brief brilliantly.”
"Truly outstanding. Not only is he hugely energetic and motivating, he is also one of the funniest speakers I have ever heard. I would book him again and again."
— Sixth Sense
“Everyone was very positive with feedback and Ellis 'woke' then all up after an intensive conference.”
"Ellis’s contribution was fabulous, very amusing. Ellis bought the post-lunch lull back up. He met the objectives well, he bought insight to it and made comparisons with his own knowledge."
— Event Consultants Scotland Ltd