I graduated Sixth Form in 1982 with three A Levels (History, Maths and Economics) and an S Level in Economics. I think I was the second sixth former to get an S Level, the first one being Janice Milroy who was the headmaster’s daughter! I went to Sheffield University and achieved my BA in Business Studies in 1985. I tried to get a career in Marketing but with no success, so I returned home to Peterlee in 1985 and had two sales jobs in a year, one selling advertising for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle (and Sunderland was my sales patch so you can imagine how popular I was) and then selling financial products for a bank located at Sunderland leisure Centre.
I moved south in 1986 and went into accountancy with Deloitte near London. I qualified as a chartered accountant and subsequently began a career in internal auditing with Top Shop/Top Man in Oxford Street. There my boss became a mentor to me and I followed him to a couple of companies, ultimately ending up working with him at British Airways at Heathrow as a senior Audit Manager in the mid-nineties. There I got to travel the world, even flying on Concorde for business trips a few times. In the late nineties, because I had done so much world travel, I attracted the interest from Colgate Palmolive in New York City. I joined them in 1998 and my office was on Park Avenue in New York looking directly into the Waldorf hotel. I enjoyed working in Manhattan very much, but my real desire was to work in media and entertainment. In 2004 I got a job at Walt Disney Company in LA and I was in charge of financial audit for several Disney divisions including the theme parks. My job was actually to visit the Disney parks and hotels around the world. Then I was put in charge of Disney Studio accounting for their US operations and that included accounting for all film production and distribution in the USA.
Five years ago I moved over to FOX, also in Los Angeles, and I am currently Senior Vice President in charge of internal audit for all Fox worldwide businesses including 20th Century Fox and Fox channels and TV production. My jobs takes me around all the Fox operations worldwide and I have audited Fox operations in many countries including China, Russia and the UK.