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Ellis Watson

Dundee, UK

Chief Executive, DC Thomson (2011-present)

Former head of Syco Entertainment, which took X Factor and Got Talent global

Managing Director of Celador (2000-03), which licensed Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Ellis Watson is Chief Executive of DC Thomson, one of the world’s largest family owned media groups. He was previously head of Syco Entertainment, the joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony – running the global format and commercial strategies for X Factor and Got Talent, as well as the recorded music businesses.

The Syco appointment followed spells on the board of Menzies and FirstGroup, the huge public transport operator with brands from First Great Western to America’s Greyhound Bus network. Before that he was at the helm of Mirror Group Newspapers, running five national titles.

Ellis’ first break came as a young Marketing Director at The Sun and The News of the World, moving on to take charge of the new digital business and reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch.

After ten years at News Corporation he became CEO of Celador International – licensing Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to 100 countries and overseeing 130 consumer products.

Our Comment

"Ellis shows how to inspire passion especially when under pressure, and how to progress from mission statements to true company culture - where quality, integrity and diversity are all properly harnessed."

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