Media Lifeline: Charles Allen

The media mogul has barely had time to catch his breath since stepping down as ITV's CEO two years ago.

June 2007: Charles Allen, who left the position of chief executive of ITV in August 2006, hadn't exactly been twiddling his thumbs - he had his long-standing directorships of Tesco and the London Olympic Committee to fall back on. But he steps back into the media limelight when it is revealed that he is the chairman of (and an investor in) Global Radio as it begins its inexorable rise by snapping up the Chrysalis radio stations.

September 2008: Allen now finds room for a return to TV, too, becoming a senior advisor to the private equity division of Goldman Sachs, to manage its significant stake in Endemol - and there's even talk of him using this as a vehicle to spearhead a break-up bid for ITV.

September 2008: And September proves a particularly busy month when, a couple of days later, Allen accepts yet another role - as a non-executive director of Virgin Media. Virgin had previously looked at a bid for ITV, so now the speculation really heats up and ITV's share price begins to rise, hitting the dizzy heights of 48p within hours of the announcement.

January 2009: But it's not all television, radio, the Olympics and grocery-orientated retail - now Allen finds room to squeeze in just one more wafer-thin mint of a directorship, this time becoming the non-executive chairman of EMI Music. His appointment is hailed as a major coup by Guy Hands, whose private equity company Terra Firma has been struggling to make sense of the music giant since acquiring it in 2007.

April 2009: Allen clearly feels he's still underemployed - so forms a management consultancy in partnership with his former commercial director at ITV, Ian McCulloch. Xsequor will specialise in restructuring and realigning businesses that are "media-centric".

Fast forward ...

November 2009: What goes around inevitably comes around - as Allen resigns his Virgin and Endemol roles to become ITV's chief executive, with a brief to sell the network's programme-making arm to ... a Virgin-Endemol joint venture. The broadcast brands are to be sold to RTL in partnership with Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset, the web properties to Guardian Newspapers. Which eventually appoints him as a non-executive director.

Topics