Competition regulator names new chief executive

Sarah Cardell will lead the CMA – whose duties include tackling anti-competitive practices among tech giants

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Monopolies watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority has appointed Sarah Cardell as its new chief executive officer, five months after Andrea Coscelli left the role.

Cardell has been serving as interim chief at the CMA since Coscelli’s departure in July. Previously she was general counsel at the authority with executive leadership responsibility for its legal service, policy and international functions, as well as the Digital Markets Unit – which was unveiled last year with a remit to tackle anti-competitive practices among tech giants: a key objective for the regulator in the coming year. The DMU now has 70 staff on its books.

Business secretary Grant Shapps said Cardell had worked at the CMA – a non-ministerial department overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – for the past nine years and had “unrivalled” expertise in competition, regulation and digital markets.

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“She will help to ensure the regulator continues making competition work for consumers and businesses,” he said. “I look forward to working with her closely.”

CMA chairman Marcus Bokkerink, who was appointed to his current role in September, said he had been impressed with Cardell’s “steady leadership” in the short time they had worked together so far.

“This appointment is thoroughly deserved,” he said. “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.”

Before joining the CMA, Cardell was a partner in the competition group at law firm Slaughter and May, where she advised across a wide range of EU and UK merger and antitrust cases.

According to the CMA’s most recent annual report and accounts, the organisation has around 875 staff – based mainly in London and Edinburgh, but also with teams in Cardiff and Belfast.


Sam Trendall

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