21 Sep 2011

Open University appoints Commercial Director

The Open University (OU) has just announced the appointment of Steven Hill as its new Commercial Director. This key appointment comes at a time when public funding of higher education is under pressure, and universities are increasingly turning to other sources to diversify their income streams.

Steven will join The Open University in November from Thomson Reuters, where he was Global Head of Business Management. During this time he has grown the multi-million pound business Lipper, and developed an international business development and client service team covering Europe, Asia and the US. His experience includes integration of new company acquisitions, setting commercial policy, leading culturally diverse teams and board level reporting in Europe and the US.

Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean, Steven will drive the implementation and development of the University’s international strategy. Leading the Business Development Unit, he will provide commercial insight to grow UK business-to-business activity and manage relationships with both private and public sector organisations and customers. Steven will also be responsible for building and improving communication channels and relationships with local and international audiences to deliver financially viable and strategic partnerships.

Commenting on the appointment, Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said: “I am thrilled that Steven is joining my top team. The Open University’s business environment is complex and changing, and Steven’s global experience and track record of achieving great results will be crucial in strengthening our position nationally and internationally. With 260,000 students in 200 locations, the scale of our operation is vast. Steven will play a pivotal role in continuing to grow business partnerships and customer relationships.”

Steven Hill said: “I am hugely excited at the prospect of joining such a great institution. My own experience as an OU student has taught me the value of its high quality, flexible and great value for money education. Ensuring the University continues to be commercially sustainable will help its legacy for generations to come.”

Steven is an Open University graduate and holds a BSc (Open) and a Diploma in Management Studies (Open). He started his career at National Westminster Bank, where he worked for 11 years in general branch banking and various management positions. He joined Lipper, a Reuters company as Head of EMEA, Sales Account Management and Global Client Service and after eight year became their Head of Commercial and Business Management.

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