Vanessa Kingori OBE, Managing Director, Tech, Media and Telecoms at Google UK

Vanessa KingoriMulti-award-winning, British based, businesswoman, diversity proponent, youth advocate and mother.

Vanessa’s 20 year career in the media industry has spanned multiple categories of business with a special focus on business transformation and change management. Through her work she emphasises diversity of perspective and social responsibility.

Vanessa has recently been appointed to the role of Managing Director, Tech, Media and Telecoms at Google UK. She began this role, which represents a significant skills transfer and career acceleration, in February of 2024.

Prior to this Vanessa worked at Conde Nast for 15 years. Her appointment to British Vogue’s Publishing Director in 2017 (2017-24) made history. She was British Vogue’s first female business lead in its over 100 year history. She was also Conde Nast Britain’s first and only business lead of colour.

Vanessa’s tenure at British Vogue involved a significant shift in the brand’s purpose and business strategy. This led to dramatic revenue growth, multiple business awards, digital transformation, and revenue diversification. In her first year, Vanessa helped lead the team to its most successful digital revenue in the website’s 30+ year history, with a +95% revenue increase year-on-year, simultaneously maintaining British Vogue’s large print revenue, as well as leading the team to an increase of 750% in profits year-on-year for British Vogue events. Business success at Vogue continued every year during her tenure.

The unprecedented success of British Vogue’s revenue transformation during her leadership coupled with the work on GQ, led to a promotion to a role specifically created for her – Chief Business Officer, Conde Nast Britain (2021-24) witch involved leading the business of all ten CNB brands – Vogue, GQ, Wired, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Tatler, Conde Nast Traveller, Johansens,, House & Garden and The World of Interiors. This was in addition to continuing her existing responsibilities directly leading British Vogue and a further expansion of role to support the Vogue brand across Europe as Vogue’s European Advisor.

Prior to Vogue, Vanessa was Publisher of British GQ (2009-17), also signaling many firsts for the company’s leadership (first woman, first Person of Colour, youngest Publisher). Vanessa’s first full year as Publisher for GQ, was their most successful year of revenue generation of the preceding decade. Digital revenue performance peaked, up 115% year-on-year whilst maintaining print and other revenue. GQ won several digital commercial awards externally and internally. Before her 15 years at Conde Nast she worked at Hearst magazines and the Evening Standard.

Vanessa is a prolific public speaker, frequently requested by some of the world’s most prominent companies to share her thoughts on transformation, change management and purpose in business. This includes speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Cannes Lions, McKinsey, Unilever, EY, BMW and many more.

In 2023 alone Vanessa collected 5 prominent awards – The London Chamber of Commerce named Vanessa their Business Person of the Year as part of their Black Excellence awards; she was awarded the Powerlist’s Most Powerful Black Executive, received an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University and received an O.B.E. from the newly crowned King of England within the same year. Amongst her many other awards Vanessa is proud to have been named Campaign’s Top 10 Commercial Chiefs in Britain in 2021 and Campaign’s Top 10 Trailblazers in 2020. She also led the team in creating new categories of business which won Conde Nast’s first ever Cannes Lions Awards in 2019. Vanessa has been credited amongst the 100 Most Influential Black Britons every year for the past 9 years.

In her work as youth advocate Vanessa sat on the UAL’s Board of Directors as a Governor and Trustee and enjoys a long standing role as Visiting Fellow at the University of the Arts London supporting and mentoring students across the institution’s 6 colleges which include Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. Vanessa was awarded a UAL Honorary Doctorate in 2018 and an Honorary Fellowship from Royal Holloway.

Vanessa now sits on the Board of Directors of the Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet, utilizing her business skills to support the arts community during a challenging period of reduced funding.

In her work as diversity proponent Vanessa sits on a leadership committee of a microfund Peanut StartHer which is focused on helping pre-seed female entrepreneurs in tech and business, with a particular focus on giving purpose driven startups, founded by women, their first boost.

In the height of the anti-racist uprising in 2020, Vanessa organised and led #SHARETHEMICUK to highlight the accomplishments and contribution of high achieving Black women, using the allyship of successful White women during Black history month UK 2020. The project was backed by Instagram and reached a combined audience of over 175 million on the platform alone – excluding the huge amount of press generated. Participants included Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Sheryl Sandberg, Christiane Amanpour, Bernadine Evaristo, Priya Ahluwalia, Bianca Saunders, June Sarpong, Emma Dabiri, Kourtney Kardashian, and Brooke Shields. It helped to launch several exciting new collaborations, inspiring conversations, books, podcasts and new friendships between unlikely pairings.

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