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Guto Harri

London, UK
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Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, News UK (2012-present)

Director of External Affairs for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson (2008-12)

18 year career as a BBC journalist, including Chief Political Correspondent (2002-05)

Guto Harri is the Director of Communications at News UK since 2012, a position that was then known as the ‘hardest job in PR’. Having joined during the company’s most tumultuous periods with News International in daily headlines for the wrong reasons, he is widely regarded as playing a key role in shaping and turning around its reputation. A regular on the speaker circuit in the UK, he is also an insightful media commentator and is frequently on the airwaves. Guto’s work to date at News UK was lauded earlier this year when CorpComms magazine named him the 2014 “Communications Professional of the Year”.

Prior to News UK, Guto was Communications Director for the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Joining in 2008 his role was to advise the Mayor – whom he first met at Oxford University – on communications and to direct media strategy. Guto is widely acknowledged as nurturing and promoting the ‘Boris brand’, moulding the media and the public’s perception of the Mayor, which went global in the lead-up to and during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was by Boris’ side for many memorable moments, including racing the 100m track in the Beijing Olympic stadium together, as well as meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton. A key figure in the Mayor’s senior team, he helped mastermind Boris’ re-election as Mayor of London in May 2012 and was instrumental in creating and sustaining relationships with the movers and shakers across the leading UK political parties.

During an 18-year career as a BBC journalist, Guto’s assignments included covering the collapse of communism in East Germany, the bloody coup which overthrew Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, and reporting from inside Iraq during the first Gulf War.

In 2002, Guto was promoted to Chief Political Correspondent for the BBC’s 24 hour news channel and travelled the world with Tony Blair in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. During this time Guto also presented the channel’s weekly interview programme, One To One, as well as The World at One, PM programme, and the Today programme business slot for BBC Radio 4. In 2005, he became BBC’s North American Business Correspondent based in New York until 2007. In that role, Guto travelled to about 30 states and interviewed a number of senior figures in the world of business and economics, including Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Richard Branson, Sir Howard Springer, Robert Rubin and Bill Ford.

After leaving the BBC at the end of 2007, Guto joined London public relations agency, Fleishman-Hillard as a Senior Policy Advisor; among others he advised for the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Our Comment

"Having interviewed and worked for some of the most influential names in business, economics and politics from around the world, Guto Harri has a remarkable stash of anecdotes and stories, and has established himself as an insightful and dynamic speaker."

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