Press release

Press Release: Chief Executive Designate appointed to the Competition and Markets Authority

Alex Chisholm was today appointed the new Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority by the Business Secretary Vince Cable.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

As a single, streamlined authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will drive competition policy. There are substantial economic benefits from a tough regime cracking down hard and quickly on cartels and monopolies.

I am very pleased that Mr Chisholm is joining the CMA as Chief Executive, to lead the organisation alongside the Chair, Lord Currie. His expertise in economic regulation and wider experience in business and the public sector will play a crucial role strengthening the UK’s world class competition regime, building on the excellent record of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission.

CMA Chair, Lord David Currie said:

I greatly look forward to working with Alex Chisholm to make the Competition and Markets Authority a world class competition and consumer protection body, that will generate major benefits for the British economy and for consumers and businesses.

CMA Chief Executive Designate Alex Chisholm said:

I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the establishment of the Competition and Markets Authority, which has a vital part to play in helping competition and markets to thrive during this time of significant economic challenges.

I look forward to working with the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, and with the wider government, business and consumer communities, to ensure the new authority is dynamic, efficient and accountable”.

Alex Chisholm will take up his five year appointment on 25 March 2013.


Since October 2007 Alex Chisholm has been Commissioner at the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) Ireland, and Chairperson of the Commission since February 2010. Since April 2011, Mr Chisholm has also served as Chair of the Economic Regulators Network in Ireland.

Prior to joining ComReg, Mr Chisholm held a number of executive positions in the media, IT and communications industries, including Chief Executive of Ecceleration Ltd, Ecommerce Director at eCountries Inc, Publisher and General Manager in the Financial Times Group, and Development Manager at Pearson plc.

He also served for six years in the UK’s Department of Trade & Industry and Office of Fair Trading, specialising in competition policy and the media, communications and financial services sectors.

Mr Chisholm holds an MBA from INSEAD Business School (1997) and an MA from Oxford University (1989). In August 2012 he completed the Senior Managers in Government programme at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Mr Chisholm is also currently involved in charitable work as Trustee and Deputy Chairman of the international charity Breadline Africa.

Notes to editors

  1. The Chief Executive will be the Accounting Officer for the CMA and a member of the CMA Board. He will lead the organisational design of the CMA and shaping of its competition processes. The Chief Executive will take ownership of the shadow organisation and along with the Chair Designate, will drive forward the creation of the CMA in bringing together the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission (CC) as a single, unified body by April 2014.

  2. The Chief Executive’s appointment will be subject to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill receiving Royal Assent.

  3. The Chief Executive’s remuneration will be £190k per annum.

  4. The appointment was made on merit in accordance with the Civil Service Commissioner’s Recruitment Principles.

  5. Mr Chisholm has no current conflicts of interest.

  6. The Government announced its plans for the creation of the CMA in March 2012. It will bring together the CC and the competition, markets and some consumer protection functions of the OFT to become a world-leading unitary authority, advocating competition both at home and abroad.

  7. The Government recognises and values the close relationship between competition problems and consumer activities. The CMA will therefore have the OFT and Competition Commission’s full competition toolkit and consumer protection enforcement powers. It will have the power to tackle practices and market conditions that make it difficult for consumers to exercise choice in an otherwise competitive market.

  8. The unified CMA will bring about significant benefits to business and consumers, including greater coherence, flexibility, speed and transparency in the operation of the competition regime.

  9. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
    • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
  10. Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.
Published 8 January 2013