Virgin Media boss Neil Berkett takes up Guardian group chair

OUTGOING Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett has taken up the chairmanship of Guardian Media Group (GMG), the owner of the Guardian and Observer newspapers.

GMG, which is entirely owned by the not-for-profit Scott Trust, said yesterday that Berkett has replaced Dame Amelia Fawcett, a former Morgan Stanley executive, who is stepping down after four years.

Berkett, who already served on the GMG board, is stepping down from Virgin Media when US telecoms group Liberty Global completes its $23.3bn (£15.3bn) takeover of the broadband supplier. The deal, already approved by European regulators, is expected to be voted through by Virgin Media’s shareholders today.

The 57-year-old takes charge of GMG at a difficult time, when the group is attempting to deal with mounting losses at its newspapers as well as questions over the future of AutoTrader, the car listings website that was put up for sale earlier this year before talks broke down.