University of Leicester eBulletin

University of Leicester Graduate is New Head of Learning and Skills Council

October 2003

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) announces the appointment of Mark Haysom as Chief Executive from October 2003. He replaces John Harwood who retires in September 2003. John spent three years establishing the Learning and Skills Council and was instrumental in positioning it as a lead skills delivery body. 

Mark Haysom (50) is a former student of the University of Leicester where he read English.

Before joining the LSC, Mark Haysom spent eleven years at the Trinity Mirror Group where he spent the last three years as managing director of national newspapers.

Bryan Sanderson, LSC Chairman, said: "Since John announced his retirement earlier this year we have searched both the private and public sectors for a suitable candidate. I'm delighted that Mark is joining us.

[Photo: Mary Haysom]
Mark Haysom

"The LSC is ripe for a step-change. We are embarking on a major internal restructuring to deliver cost savings and improve our links with employers, schools, colleges and other providers. We are conducting a radical review of learning provision. We are a key delivery agent for the Government's recent Skills Strategy white paper. Mark will bring a fresh perspective and impetus to running a large, complex organisation such as the LSC." 

Mark Haysom said: "I am very pleased to have been selected as the next Chief Executive of the LSC. It is clearly a challenging role but one that I will relish."

Charles Clarke, Secretary of State for Education and Skills said: "I very much welcome the appointment of Mark Haysom as the new Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council. This is a very challenging position, and Mark brings significant experience of demanding and complex leadership roles.

"The LSC has now moved from its set-up phase, and is primed for delivery, and for leading the drive to establish a learning culture in this country. Mark will lead that drive, working in partnership with other key organisations to transform the performance, quality and responsiveness of post16 learning and to establish the LSC's leading role in delivering the Skills Strategy.

"He will also play a central role in driving through fundamental and radical change to existing delivery structures, building on the new Strategic Area Reviews and 14-19 Area Reviews."

Message from Mark Haysom on his first day at LSC


1998-2003 1998-2003 TRINITY MIRROR 
2000-2003 2000-2003 Managing Director, National Newspapers 
1999-2000 1999-2000 Regional Managing Director, Midlands, Wales & South 
1998-1999 1998-1999 1998-1999 Regional Managing Director, Wales & South 
1998 Joined plc Board 
1997-1998 1997-1998 Managing Director, Western Mail & Echo Ltd 
1993-1997 Managing Director, Western Mail & Echo Ltd 
1992-1993 1992-1993 Managing Director, Thomson Free Newspapers 
1984-1992 1984-1992 REED INTERNATIONAL 
1989-1992 1989-1992 Deputy Chief Executive, Reed Southern Newspapers 
1987-1989 Managing Director, South London Guardian 
1986-1987 1986-1987 Director & General Manager, South London Guardian 
1984-1986 Editorial Director, South London Guardian 
Plc Director, Morgan Communications plc 
1979-1984 1979-1984 Editor, Scunthorpe Star series 
1977-1979 News Editor, Scunthorpe Star 
1976-1977 1976-1977 Trainee reporter, Grimsby News 
Trainee sub-editor

* Twenty years in some of the most demanding leadership roles with the UK's major newspaper publishing companies.
* Six years as a plc Director of one of the UK's fastest growing media company. Involved in major acquisitions in the rapid consolidation of the regional newspaper sector.

* Established reputation for business turn around. 

* Created high energy, high trust organisations based on a clearly defined set of core values. 
* Built and developed strong management teams in each business before moving on to new challenges. 

* Those teams were known for their restless drive for improvement; high degree of personal motivation; structured approach without unnecessary formality; quick decision-making; innovation and humour.

* Experience includes running large and complex multi-centre organisations employing several thousand people at any one time.

1997-2003 TRINITY MIRROR plc 
2000-2003 Managing Director, National Newspapers 

In September 2000 took responsibility for the five national titles - Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People, Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Turnover 500m, profits 100m, staff of 2,200. 

The division was in disarray - advertising revenues were suffering, profits were under pressure, circulation was in sharp decline and the management team was disillusioned. There was no clear direction for any of the titles and the editorial side of the organisation was at war with the commercial teams. 

It was necessary to rebuild the management teams in both London and Glasgow. In tandem with this a strategy was developed for the Daily Mirror which delivered outstanding results through most of 2001. Having repositioned the title editorially and strengthened the Saturday product, a major marketing drive took circulation to its best performance for many years. At this point the circulation gap with the Sun was at its lowest for three decades. At the same time the company was the only player in national newspapers to be delivering advertising revenue growth up to an including 11th September. This drive for circulation and advertising revenue was accompanied by a first wave of cost reduction. 

Following this Trinity Mirror embarked on a major strategic review of all the plc's assets. This led to a further round of restructuring in the national titles, which reduced costs by 14m. This in turn was reinvested in a major integrated marketing campaign that coincided with the worst advertising downturn seen in national newspaper history in the aftermath of 11th September. 

The Daily Mirror has won three 'Newspaper of the Year' awards in the past 12 months, has grown advertising market share and has maintained underlying profit performance despite the advertising recession.

1999-2000 1999-2000 Regional Managing Director, Midlands, Wales & South 

Following the merger with Mirror Group Newspapers spent one year running half of the company's regional portfolio while also having direct responsibility (as Managing Director) for Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd. Total turnover of 250m, profits of 54m, staff of 4,000.

Uncovered a major circulation fraud in Birmingham - the biggest such fraud in the history of UK newspapers. The effects of this were profound on all stakeholders in the company. Managing the consequences with more than 5,000 advertising customers presented a unique set of challenges as did seeking to repair the reputational to the company. Morale throughout the organisation was buffeted and the rebuilt management team had to work hard to restore this. 

This period also coincided with a slowdown in the local advertising market and this meant having to take immediate action to start to reduce the cost base. Profit growth was achieved despite the downturn. 

While the company was tackling these challenges, Associated newspapers chose this moment to launch a Metro into Birmingham. With 48 hours notice, the team at Birmingham responded by producing our own Metro. From a standing start the new paper was on the streets within 24 hours - a day ahead of the competition. 

1998-1999 Regional Managing Director, Wales & South

Joined the plc Board in 1998 and assumed responsibility for Trinity publishing centres in the south of England in addition to continuing to run the Welsh operation. Staff of 2,100.

1997-1998 Managing Director, Western Mail & Echo Ltd (see below) 
1993-1997 Managing Director, Western Mail & Echo Ltd

Following the disposal of TFN (see below), was given the choice of running one of Thomson's major centres - either the successful Newcastle centre or the struggling Cardiff operation with its portfolio of 15 daily and weekly titles and a staff of 1,300. Opted for Cardiff where there was a massive cultural challenge and where annual losses were running at 2m on a turnover of 32m. Rebuilt the management team and turned performance around by driving top line growth while restructuring the cost base. For six years Cardiff achieved in excess of 15% annual profit growth. At the end of that six-year period revenue had grown by more than 30% and costs were below their original level. In 1999 annual profits were 11m. During this period also achieved numerous awards for excellence in editorial, advertising and production and Investors in People status. Cardiff is now one of Trinity Mirror's major centres and is on track to deliver profits of 15m in 2003. Was to be the next Chief Executive of Thomson Regional Newspapers but company was acquired by Trinity.

1992-1993 Managing Director, TFN Ltd 

Headhunted by Thomson to run their recently created company that comprised four divisions publishing 35 titles ranging from paid-for evening to weekly free. The publishing area stretched from Derby to Reading and from Buckingham to the Fens. Annual turnover was 35m and losses were running at 1m a month. Undertook strategic review that led to a fundamental reorganisation and within six months losses were reduced to 500k a month. Decision taken shortly thereafter that the company should be broken up and sold. Undertook the disposal process that enabled Thomson to exit within five months.

1984-1992 1984-1992 REED INTERNATIONAL 

1989-1992 Deputy Chief Executive, Reed Southern Newspapers Ltd. 
Retained responsibility for South London Guardian (see below) but role extended to include two neighbouring companies. Portfolio of 14 titles in total. Revenue of 20m+, profits of 4m, staffing 350+. Integrated these businesses, extracted significant synergies and managed them through the worst downturn seen at that time in the London advertising market. Reduced costs to offset worst of the recession. Was being groomed as future Chief Executive of Reed Regional Newspapers but opted to leave to join Thomson.

1987-1989 1987-1989 Managing Director, South London Guardian Ltd

Delivered record revenue growth and record profitability. Launched two new newspaper titles. Recruited and developed the senior management team that now runs Newsquest. Undertook major systems installation and office relocation.

1986-1987 1986-1987 Director & General Manager, South London Guardian Ltd 

Appointed Director & General Manager shortly after acquisition by Reed (see below). Newly appointed Managing Director was taken ill within months of his arrival and therefore acted as Managing Director for most of the year.

1984-1986 Editorial Director, South London Guardian Ltd

Joined South London Guardian as Editorial Director when the company was still an independent (Morgan Communications plc). Joined plc Board in 1985. Reed International acquired company shortly thereafter. SLG published a series of eight weekly free newspapers with a turnover of 12m and profits of 2m+. Staff of 220.


Started as a trainee reporter and quickly worked through the ranks to end up as Editor of a weekly newspaper series at the age of 25. Increased circulation over a four-year period in a competitive environment and reduced costs. Relaunched the series in tabloid format. Won 'Newspaper of the Year' award for two consecutive years.

After University looked for ways to pursue a career in journalism. At that particular time it was tough to get into newspapers and had to settle for a trade magazine. As it turned out the training received over 18 months provided a firm foundation.

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Last updated: October 2003
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