Global business leader Eric Salama appointed as new Chair of Comic Relief

22nd May 2020

Comic Relief has announced today that global business leader Eric Salama has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Eric recently stepped down as the CEO of international research, insight and data consultancy Kantar, where he led the organisation for over 18 years and grew the organisation to over $4bn of revenue and 30,000 employees.  Kantar operated in all markets around the world, including all countries that Comic Relief work within. He has previously served as an advisor to the Government on e-commerce and business, and as a non-executive director at DFID (The Department for International Development) and has helped many brands expand both locally and internationally.

Eric will formally start the role of Chair of the Comic Relief board on 1 July and succeed Tim Davie, BBC Studios Chief Executive, who has successfully served on the board for over six and a half years (since September 2013).

A key part of Eric’s strategic role will be navigating Comic Relief’s future success including overseeing the charity’s long term response and new ways of operating in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is set to have an unprecedented impact on all aspects of the voluntary sector and on many vulnerable communities for years to come.

Eric will lead an exceptional professional, diverse and talented board of trustees, with a broad range of expertise including leaders in technology, business and law.

Eric Salama said: “Comic Relief has achieved so much over the past 30 years and has the potential to achieve even more over the next 30.  Its creative heart is unique and its services are needed more than ever right now.   I look forward to helping the charity grow to even greater success.  I’m thrilled to be joining a group of such talented people and I can’t wait to start.” 

Ruth Davison, Chief Executive of Comic Relief said “It is fantastic to warmly welcome Eric to Comic Relief and I look forward to working closely with him. This is a crucial moment for the charity as we face new challenges and refresh our strategic goals and vision. Tim Davie has been a brilliant Chair and I’m confident that Eric’s strong leadership and unique mix of business and creative expertise will put Comic Relief on the path to even greater success.“`



Rachelle Laurence, Head of Corporate & Crisis Communications

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1, Eric Salama Bio

Eric is a global business leader with a track record of transformation.  He has recently stepped down as CEO of Kantar, one of the world’s leading research, insight, data and consulting companies after leading its carve out from WPP and a sale of a majority stake to Bain Capital.  During his 18 years as CEO the business grew to over $4bn of revenue, 30k employees, operating in all markets around the world and working with major multinationals and local giants – clients and partners such as Google, Facebook,  Alibaba, BBC,  Coke, Unilever, Loreal, VW.

Prior to Kantar Eric served on the main board of WPP for almost a decade as the CEO of in new window) and the Head of Strategy, working as part of the team which built it into the largest marketing services company in the world.  Eric has served as a Trustee of the British Museum, a Director of UK Government Department DFID and a Governor of Birkbeck College London.

2, Comic Relief has diverse professional range of trustees from varied backgrounds with wide ranging expertise.  Founder Richard Curtis continues to be closely involved, while trustees include Rupert Morley, Chairman and CEO of Rococo Chocolates, Jacqueline Onalo, a multi-award-winning human rights lawyer, and Dr Sue Black a Technology Evangelist and Digital Skills Expert. For more information on our trustees visit in new window)

About Comic Relief - Comic Relief raises money to support people living incredibly tough lives. Through humour and stories of hope, we’ve shown that people can make a massive difference. We fund hundreds of amazing organisations who are working on the ground to support the most vulnerable people and communities in society including many of those hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. This includes vulnerable children and young people, people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty, women and families at risk of domestic abuse and those struggling with existing or new mental health problems. 

For more info visit in new window)

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)