• C4 rejigs leadership, promoting Jonathan Allan to COO
  • Allan to take over from Keith Underwood who departs this month
  • Alex Mahon to organise exec team for closer delivery of strategy

jonathan allan 2020

Channel 4 promotion: New chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan 

In a leadership restructure, Channel 4 has promoted Jonathan Allan to the role of chief operating officer, replacing Keith Underwood who is stepping down.

C4’s chief executive Alex Mahon confirmed Allan’s promotion as part of a rejig which aims to bring together all the key operational functions into a newly expanded COO’s office.

Allan is currently chief commercial officer and will take on the new role, which will include overseeing several departments including: All 4, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Consumer and Strategy, Content Management, Finance, HR, Nations and Regions and Technology.

Finance director Vince Russell, who joined C4 from Sky in 2018, will take on additional responsibilities for leading Workspace and will now report directly to Allan.

Allan’s new role will see him take over from Keith Underwood who has been part of the executive team at C4 for the past eight years as COO and previously director of strategy and technology. Underwood was the inaugural guest chair of the IBC content steering group in 2018.

In a statement, Mahon highlighted Underwood’s achievements.

She said: “[Underwood] has played a significant role in Channel 4’s success – in particular leading the launch of All 4, transforming digital development capabilities, rebuilding and repositioning the finance function, and successfully delivering the operational elements of the 4 All the UK programme.”

Underwood has stepped down from his role to “pursue new opportunities” and will depart C4 at the end of this month.

As a result of these changes chief consumer and strategy officer, Sarah Rose will also be leaving C4 after the summer.

“Sarah Rose has made a lasting contribution to a range of key business areas at Channel 4, including launching VOD, leading the commercial and business development teams, and most recently the consumer insight, data and strategy department,” Mahon said.

The next few months she will continue to work closely with the executive team to oversee key strategic partnerships.

Matt Salmon, currently head of agency and client sales, will step up to the executive team as interim director of sales whilst a full recruitment process is undertaken for the role.

Mahon added: “Jonathan has played a significant role leading 4 All the UK and our move to Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow in addition to eight years driving record commercial success for Channel 4.

“As I organise our executive team even more closely behind the delivery of our strategy, I’m delighted to be able to bring together our key operational departments under his leadership in this larger office of the COO.”

“Keith has made a huge contribution to the success of Channel 4 over the past 10 years and I’d like to wish him all the best for whatever new challenge he decides to take on next. I’d also like to thank Sarah Rose for the important role she has played in so many different areas of Channel 4’s business and I’m pleased to be continuing to work with her on our strategic partnerships strategy this year.”