Our leadership team
Many of us have worked in academic publishing for decades, but we also have backgrounds in communications, retail and finance.
I’ve worked in academic publishing for over 20 years, with C-suite responsibility for a range of business areas in that time – Business Development, M&A, Marketing, Digital, and HR. I’ve been Chief Executive for Emerald since 2018, and am proud to be part of a business that innovates, takes risks, responds to its communities, and really values its people.
As part of both giving back and learning from our communities, I'm an International Advisory Board member for the University of Bradford, and an Advisory Board member for the University of Lincoln’s Impact Literacy Institute. I also work within the local community on Bradford’s Economic Recovery Board.
Both in and out of work, I'm a keen advocate for gender diversity, having launched Emerald’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme in 2016, and speak widely on this topic at global forums and events. I love the theatre and music, but you'll still find me at my happiest browsing for hours in a bookshop!
I joined Emerald Publishing in 2012, and subsequently led a range of business functions including content acquisition and management, product and business innovation. Most recently, I led the business as CEO prior to and following its acquisition by Cambridge Information Group. I'm delighted to take up the new role of Chief Officer: Publishing & Strategic Relationships, with responsibilities spanning all aspects of publishing, brand, open research, public policy, strategic relationships, and as part of the M&A team.
As one of the first signatories of the UN’s SDG Publisher Compact, Emerald is committed to a range of actions to help realise the SDGs and create positive societal impact, and this is the focus of my contribution to Emerald and our communities.
Prior to joining Emerald, I worked across a range of editorial, product, brand, and publishing roles with Elsevier over a 16 year period, culminating in Publishing Director for Business and Management Sciences.
Outside of the business, my wife Sarah and I enjoy all that comes with having two teenagers at home, as well as two energetic Field Spaniels!
I joined Emerald in 2013. Prior to this, I qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, specialising in corporate finance whilst working in the UK and Asia-Pacific. Subsequently I worked for Barclays plc as a Corporate Director, managing a diverse team with over £600m of assets under management, and came to know Emerald as a client, when I first got to know the business.
I have direct responsibility for functions including Data, Group Finance, Revenue Operations & Workplace & Services. My focus at Emerald is to provide the resources and governance to support Emerald’s ambitious plans, and to guide the execution of our growth strategy. I was closely involved in Emerald’s journey to join the Cambridge Information Group family of businesses, and I look forward to the new opportunities this offers Emerald and its committed team of colleagues.
Outside of work, I mostly deliver and collect my children to/ from various clubs and events! I also enjoy mountain biking, watching cricket and rugby, and travelling when time allows!
I am the Chief Commercial Officer at Emerald Publishing, having joined Emerald's sales division in January 2005 and appointed Regional General Manager in 2006, where I set up operations in China and India and managed the expansion. I have also been instrumental in the agreement of several national licensing deals as well as setting up offices in Boston, Brazil, Dubai, Taiwan and Australia.
In November 2009, I joined the Executive Board and became responsible for managing Emerald’s global sales and commercial operations.
Prior to Emerald, I held various senior sales and management positions in retail and in an international arena, managing worldwide sales in the medical supply industry. I graduated in International Business and Japanese in 1999 and obtained an MA in International Business in 2009.
My career with Emerald began in 2017 as Head of Business Technology. A significant focus within that role was driving agile digital delivery including the launch of the Emerald Insight platform. I joined the Exec team in September 2019, and am responsible for driving our digital transformation across our customer facing technologies, our content value chain, and into our business systems, infrastructure and data.
Prior to Emerald, I worked in various of roles at ProQuest, including editorial and product management across official publications, journal archives and historical documents, and for Cambridge University Press in digital operations and technology leadership related to e-learning solutions.
When I’m not at my desk, I enjoy getting out running and appreciating the fabulous Yorkshire countryside and its wildlife.
I joined Emerald in 2018. Prior to this, I spent 10 years at PwC, qualifying as a chartered accountant before going on to specialise in M&A advisory services. It was through this work I got to know Emerald as an M&A client, who was recognised as an acquisitive and forward thinking local business.
My role as Finance Director for Emerald Publishing is to ensure robust financial governance and to facilitate the investment required to achieve our growth plans as well as wider commitments to our communities.
At home I lead a busy family life with our 3 young (and highly energetic) boys. I also enjoy my squash and, when time allows, a round of golf.
I joined Emerald in 2016, initially as General Counsel, having previously held senior roles within the legal teams at Paramount Pictures and Amazon.
I believe strongly that businesses should make a positive social impact and, since 2018, have led the development of Emerald’s responsible business strategy, including our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2022, my role expanded further to include responsibility for all aspects of people and culture, and I now lead the legal and people teams at Emerald. It's a cliché perhaps, but our people are our biggest asset and, as we navigate the social and environmental challenges around us, it has never been more important to create a workplace in which everyone is supported and empowered.
I've been with Emerald since July 2019, initially joining to run the product team, and then joining the board in Summer 2022. Before working at Emerald I spent 14 years at McGraw-Hill in publishing, product and leadership roles, with a focus on the digital evolution of learning and assessment content. I also spent time working for Cambridge International Assessment, working on digital assessment - both formative and summative.
I'm responsible for delivering a compelling product and service experience for Emerald’s customers whilst also supporting our commercial growth. The central focus for product at Emerald always comes back to understanding and delighting our customers – whether they are those sourcing and purchasing content, those consuming it, or those creating it. As a team we strive to bring the voice of the customer into our activities and decision making to guide us to the right outcomes.
Outside of work my life is filled with cooking, reading, travel and photography – as well as 4 cats that rule the household.
Dr Keith Howard OBE 1931–2021
Emerald was founded in 1967 and for nearly all the time since then Keith was Chief Executive or Chairman of Emerald Group (Holdings) Limited. He stood down as Chairman at the end of 2017 but remained actively involved with the company's strategy and direction as a member of the Group Board, until his sad passing, peacefully at home, on 12 August 2021 at the age of 89.
Emerald was Keith’s focus and passion, he was committed wholeheartedly to making a positive impact in the world, and his dedication to learning has always been admired by many. Alongside his professional focus, he played an active role in his local community and supported many local and national charities, both personally and through the Emerald Foundation. Keith loved sport, theatre and the arts, and was proud to share this love with Emerald colleagues during recent years as a result of various partnerships and sponsorships.
He was presented with one of HRH the Prince of Wales’s five Medals for Arts Philanthropy in 2009, celebrating individuals who support the arts and recognising the contribution of the most inspiring cultural philanthropists in the UK, and was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2011 for services to business, sport and to the arts in West Yorkshire.
Keith was an inspirational and principled leader, with a challenging mind, a dry wit and an absolute passion for learning. He is missed by all who had the genuine privilege and pleasure to have worked with him.