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Ellis Watson



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.




We have worked with Matthew for many years and will continue to do so. His knowledge of the Speaker Market and ability to interpret our clients requirements is quite exceptional.

He is incredibly thorough in his approach and always goes that extra mile to ensure everything is exactly as required.

I am always happy working with Matthew, he has great credibility, he is very diverse in his ability to make things happen.

Matthew Fisher and I have worked together for many number of years. I have always found Matt to be honest, good natured and willing to work hard always carefully selecting the best appearances to suit my personality and lifestyle. The work Matthew has delivered for me over the years has varied from schools, colleges, attending film premiers, guest speaking  to name a few all of which I have lots of memories and thoroughly enjoyed.