Baroness Harding of Winscombe

Former Chief Executive, TalkTalk

Jurisdiction: UK

Specialism at work

Engendering belief

Favourite hobby

Horseracing, ideally as the jockey

Best piece of advice

Be true to yourself

50 word overview

Baroness Harding spent seven years as Chief Executive of TalkTalk PLC, Britain’s challenger telecoms company. She oversaw the transformation of the company’s customer service following the demerger from Carphone Warehouse, turning Britain’s most complained about telecoms operator into an award winning provider. She led the regulatory, political and media campaign for greater competition in the sector, leading to the eventual break-up of BT in 2017. She also led TalkTalk through one Britain’s most high-profile cyber attacks, being praised by a Parliamentary Committee for her transparent and strong crisis leadership.

As one of Britain’s most high profile digital leaders, Baroness Harding is a regulator commentator on what the digital revolution means for businesses and society and how Britain can become the world’s most inclusive, successful digital economy.

Baroness Harding began her career as a consultant with McKinsey before embarking on a long career in retail. She held senior positions with Thomas Cook, Woolworths and Tesco. Prior to her appointment as CEO of TalkTalk, Baroness Harding was Sainsbury’s Convenience Director.

Baroness Harding was appointed as a non-executive director on The Court of The Bank of England in July 2014. She has also served on the boards of The British Land Company PLC and Cheltenham Racecourse. In August 2014, Baroness Harding became a Conservative Life Peer and served on David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group, advising the Prime Minister and Chancellor on business and economic policy.