Stephen Carter, Baron Carter of Barnes

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Carter of Barnes
Minister for Communications,
Technology and Broadcasting
In office
10 October 2008 – 23 July 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Margaret Hodge
Succeeded by Barbara Follett
Downing Street Chief of Staff
In office
23 January 2008 – 10 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Tom Scholar
Succeeded by Jeremy Heywood
Personal details
Born (1964-02-12) 12 February 1964 (age 54)
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Aberdeen,
London Business School, Harvard Business School

Stephen Andrew Carter, Baron Carter of Barnes, CBE (born 12 February 1964), is a Scottish businessman and politician.[1][2] Starting his career as CEO of J Walter Thompson UK & Ireland[3] and COO of NTL UK & Ireland[3] (now Virgin Media),[4] in 2003 Carter became the founding CEO of Ofcom (Office of Communications) in the United Kingdom.[5] He was subsequently the group CEO of Brunswick Group from 2007[6] until 2008, when he stepped down to join the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown,[7] Initially serving in 2008 as Brown's chief of strategy, principal advisor,[8][1] and the Downing Street Chief of Staff,[8] he was the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting from 2008 to 2009.[9] Between 2010 and 2013 he held various management positions at Alcatel-Lucent,[9] and in 2013 he became the group CEO of Informa,[1] an information and events company.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Falkirk, Scotland on February 12, 1964,[3] Stephen Carter grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland.[11] His father worked for the logistics company Christian Salveson, and Carter would often travel to London with his family.[3] He was educated at Currie High School in Edinburgh.[10][11] In 1982[10] he began studying law at the University of Aberdeen,[3][10] serving as student president in 1985 and 1986. He graduated in 1987[10] with a Bachelor of Laws,[3][10] then completed Harvard Business School's[3][11] advanced management program in 1997.[10] In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law (LLD) by his alma mater, Aberdeen University.[12]


JWT and NTL[edit]

Carter joined the firm J Walter Thompson (JWT) in 1986[2] as a graduate trainee,[2][3] specializing in media and technology.[11] In 1994 JWT named him managing director[3] and CEO of J Walter Thompson Company UK & Ireland.[3][2][3] He then became JWT's managing director in 1995 and chief executive in 1997.[13]

In 2000 Carter was appointed the chief operating officer and managing director of UK cable TV company NTL UK & Ireland[3] (now Virgin Media).[4] The company was deeply in debt, and Carter helped oversee complete restructuring of the UK & Ireland business.[3] Given debts of £12 billion[14] and market conditions, the company was required to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,[3] with Carter presiding over the bankruptcy proceedings.[14] The company was poised to exit Chapter 11[15] when he left in 2003.[6] His compensation payoff, rumored to be close to £1.5 million[3] with a £600,000 bonus,[15] met with criticism from shareholders,[3] and in late 2007 the company resolved a class action lawsuit brought by shareholders by paying out $9 million in compensation.[15]

Ofcom and Brunswick[edit]

On March 1, 2003[13] Carter became the founding CEO of Ofcom (Office of Communications),[5][1][3] the British government's new media regulator. Among other issues, Carter focused on reducing broadband prices and switching from analog to digital television broadcasting.[3] He also led negotiations with BT on matters such as local loop bundling.[16] Stepping down from Ofcom in the summer of 2006, he was a part of the capability review team in 2006 and 2007 that reviewed the Department for International Development.[7]

He became the group chief executive officer of Brunswick Group LLP on March 1, 2007,[6] in what was a newly created position.[5][6] He resigned from the role in January 2008 to join the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At that time, he also stepped down as a commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment & Skills and non-executive director of Royal Mail Holdings and Travis Perkins.[7]

Public positions[edit]

He returned to public life in January 2008 as chief of strategy and principal advisor for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[1][7][2] Serving as Brown's Downing Street Chief of Staff,[8] he was given responsibility for running political strategy, research, communications,[7] and the Policy Unit.[8] Carter was subsequently appointed Brown's communications minister in the House of Lords,[17][9] and in October 2008[1] he became the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for three departments simultaneously:[11][1] serving as Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting and heading the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[1] Because Carter was not a Member of Parliament, it was necessary to appoint him to the House of Lords for the ministerial positions.[18] He was created Baron Carter of Barnes, of Barnes in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on October 15, 2008,[1] introduced to the House of Lords by Lord Currie and Lord Puttnam. He served in the House of Lords on the front bench in his capacity as Minister.[19]

In June 2009 he was again appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for three departments: the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting.[1] As Minister for Communications, Technology & Broadcasting, he commissioned and helped write The Digital Britain Report policy document, which "set out the groundwork for subsequent policies in areas such as superfast broadband,"[9] for example the Digital Economy Act 2010.[20] Carter announced on June 11, 2009 that he would be resigning from his ministerial post[21] in July 2009,[1] shortly after the publishing of Digital Britain.[4][22]


In April 2010[23] Carter joined the French-American company Alcatel-Lucent, becoming director of marketing, strategy and communications and relocating from London to Paris.[16] His official titles as of 2010 were executive vice president and chief strategy & marketing officer.[12] Beyond serving as a managing director,[24] he became the company's president of operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He returned to London and officially retired from Alcatel-Lucent in April 2013, although he continued to work on special projects for the company through that summer.[9]


Carter was appointed a director of the board of Informa,[24] an information services group,[10] in 2010.[24] In 2013, the Informa board unanimously voted to appoint him as CEO, succeeding Peter Rigby, in July 2013[24] - a role he assumed in early 2014.[25] As CEO of the company he maintained the focus on investing in subscriptions, bookings and sponsorship, as well as expanding in international conferences[4] such as the Monaco Yacht Show.[25] Under Carter, in 2016 the company acquired the American events company Penton for £1.2 billion.[4] In January 2018, Informa announced the proposed acquisition of UBM, an events group, for £3.9 billion.[26] Carter, who will be chief executive of the combined group, said he would retain the other parts of Informa, including business intelligence and its academic publishing business Taylor & Francis.[27]

Boards and committees[edit]

Previously serving on the boards of companies such Travis Perkins, Royal Mail, and 2Wire,[12] he was the chairman of Ashridge Business School[7] from 2008 until 2015.[1] Carter became a trustee of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2007,[1] where he is currently a governor,[2][7] and he has been a director at Informa since 2010.[24] As of 2010 he was a vice president of UNICEF,[12] and that year UNICEF UK granted him an honorary fellowship, with Carter becoming a trustee. After becoming a director at United Utilities Group in 2014, he became chairman of the company's corporate responsibility committee in 2016. In 2017 he was named a director for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).[1]

Personal life[edit]

Carter and his wife, Anna, have two children together. His personal interests include running, Chelsea, and the arts.[11][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Lord Carter of Barnes". Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "You'd have to be tough to get Stephen Carter". The Daily Telegraph. March 21, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Davidson, Andrew (April 1, 2006). "The MT interview: Stephen Carter". Management Today. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Hill, Andrew (December 11, 2016). "Stephen Carter, CEO, Informa – From politics to business". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c "Carter to head Brunswick". Financial Times. December 5, 2006. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Ex-Ofcom chief Carter joins Brunswick as CEO". Reuters. January 20, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Brown appoints former Ofcom chief as key adviser". The Guardian. January 7, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d Parker, George (January 7, 2008). "Former Ofcom chief to be top Brown aide". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Daniel (March 29, 2013). "Carter to leave troubled Alcatel-Lucent". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Directorate change". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Dot to dot career of Britain's digital tsar Stephen Carter". Evening Standard. June 17, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Lord Carter of Barnes CBE (LLD)". Aberdeen University. November 1, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b Billings, Claire (January 21, 2003). "Stephen Carter confirmed as Ofcom chief executive". Campaign Live. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  14. ^ a b Jane Martinson (7 September 2004). "Stephen Carter: 360 degrees". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c David Leppard (13 January 2008). "Gordon Brown's new spin doctor 'deceived shareholders'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 January 2008. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b Brown, Maggie (March 3, 2010). "Lord Carter joins telecoms supplier". The Guardian. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  17. ^ Pickard, Jim (December 14, 2009). "Who did No 10 try to hire to replace Stephen Carter". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  18. ^ "Now it's Lord Carter". 6 October 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. }
  19. ^ "16 Oct 2008 : Column 815 House of Lords". October 16, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  20. ^ Stephen Carter entry at Informa
  21. ^ "Communications minister Lord Carter is latest to quit government". The Times. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. }
  22. ^ "Digital Britain, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills report in full" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  23. ^ ""Alcatel-Lucent appoints Stephen A. Carter as Chief Marketing, Strategy and Communication Officer"". Archived from the original (XML) on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2015. }
  24. ^ a b c d e Budden, Robert (July 10, 2013). "Ex-Ofcom head named chief of Informa". Financial Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  25. ^ a b Ashton, James (August 12, 2017). "How Lord Carter (finally) found a niche on the international trade show circuit". The Times. Retrieved January 27, 2018. 
  26. ^ Frean, Amanda (January 31, 2018). "Informa sails into wider waters with £3.9bn deal". The Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018. 
  27. ^ Sandle, Paul (January 29, 2018). "Informa expects 60 million pounds in annual cost savings from UBM deal". Reuters. Retrieved February 16, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Tom Scholar
Downing Street Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Jeremy Heywood
Preceded by
Margaret Hodge
Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Barbara Follett