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Sarah Cardell named first female CMA CEO

Sarah Cardell took over from Andrea Coscelli as interim CEO for the city watchdog in July.

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Sarah Cardell/Competition and Markets Authority.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps has appointed Sarah Cardell as the permanent CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Cardell has held the position of interim CEO since July following Andrea Coscelli’s departure, and is now the first woman to take on the role full-time.

She joined the CMA in 2013 as general counsel, and was formerly a partner at Slaughter & May and a legal partner at Ofgem.

“It’s an exciting time to be appointed as the CMA’s permanent CEO and I can’t wait to start delivering on the new strategy that we set out last week,” Cardell said. 

“We have set out our immediate priorities alongside medium-term ambitions, focusing on the things that are affecting people the most, from the rising cost-of-living to climate change.”

Cardell, who has more than 20 years of experience in competition and consumer enforcement in both the private and public sectors, described the CMA’s work as “vital”.

“My full focus will be on delivering positive outcomes for people, businesses and the UK economy, supported by our dedicated and talented teams,” she added.

Cardell’s appointment rounds out the CMA’s executive team, following the appointment of chairman Marcus Bokkerink.

The former Boston Consulting Group managing director and senior partner took on the role at the watchdog in September.

“Sarah has played a central role in shaping the new CMA strategy so there is nobody better placed to deliver on that strategy and drive ever more impactful outcomes for people, businesses and the UK economy,” Bokkerink said.

“There are certainly challenges ahead but I have absolute confidence that we’ll tackle them head on to ensure that markets are as competitive as possible, and people get a fair deal.”

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