Alex Mahon: Who is Channel 4’s Managing Director and what has she said about Russell Brand allegations?

Alex Mahon: Who is Channel 4’s Managing Director and what has she said about the Russell Brand allegations?
Alex Mahon: Who is Channel 4’s Managing Director and what has she said about the Russell Brand allegations?

Alex Mahon, Managing Director of public service broadcaster Channel 4, has confirmed the network is adamant about investigating Russell Brand’s behaviour during his time at the company. The 49-year-old CEO labelled the comedian’s alleged behaviour -  which includes the sexual assault and rape of four women - ‘horrendous’ and ‘disgusting’.

In an artcle published by The Times on Saturday (September 15),  four women, including one who was just 16, accused Brand of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse during a seven-year period at the height of his fame.

As revealed in the Channel 4 Dispatches special, which aired later that night, Channel 4 are now conducting an internal investigation, with the broadcaster urged by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to be fully transparent with their findings.

But who is the Channel 4 CEO responsible for managing the investigation, and what has she said so far about the allegations?

Who is Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon?

Alex Mahon is a British businesswoman who was born in London in October 1973. Raised in Edinburgh by her mother and stepfather, Mahon attended St Margaret’s School before returning to London and obtaining a PhD in medical physics from Imperial College.

In June 2017, it was announced Mahon would take charge of Channel 4. The following October, she succeeded David Abraham and became the first woman to head the broadcaster in its 35-year history.

According to her LinkedIn, Mahon’s first role in magement was for global consultancy company, Mitchell Madison Group. In 2006, she became CEO of Shine Group, the production company behind shows such as Masterchef.

After spending 15 years running creative production companies, Mahon became CEO of Foundry, a special effects company at the cutting edge of virtual reality TV and film. The technology giant landed its services to blockbuster hits such as Gravity and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Mahon has had experience working with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) before, firstly as part of an advisory panel on the future direction of the BBC and then to decide where Channel 4’s headquarters would move to. She shares four children with husband, Richard Barker - who works in Renewable Energy.

What has Alex Mahon said about Russell Brand allegations?

Speaking at the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge on Wednesday, Mahone said: “We meet in a week where yet again our industry is very much in the public spotlight. And while I will go on in a minute to talk about the theme of the conference, I will start by addressing those news headlines.

“The allegations made against Russell Brand are horrendous and as the CEO of Channel 4 — and as a woman in our industry — I found the behaviour described by ‘Dispatches’ and The Sunday Times and The Times articles disgusting and saddening,” Mahone added. “The allegations of course need to be followed up further and we and the BBC and Banijay are investigating.”

Mahone insists Channel 4 are encouraging anyone with any information about Brand during his time at the company to come forward so the broadcaster can ‘find out who knew’, ‘who was told what’, and ‘what was or wasn’t referred up’.

She said: “Channel 4 has invited anyone who knows about this behaviour to come to us and we’ve written to all our suppliers to say the same and we’ve set up a process for people to contact us anonymously if they need to.

“They’re not empty words or gestures from all of us, they’re part of what is meant by our duty of care. We will seek to find out who knew, who was told what and what was or wasn’t referred up,” she added.

“But what is clear to me is that terrible behaviour towards women was historically tolerated in our industry. And in clips we’ve seen as well provide a rather shocking jolt when one realises what appeared on air not that long ago,” she also said of the many videos that have emerged of Brand’s behavior and comments on TV that have emerged in the aftermath of the allegations.”