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KPMG UK appoints head of IGH

KPMG UK has appointed Chris Townsend as its new head of infrastructure, government and healthcare (IGH).

The “highly experienced” commercial senior executive brings over 25 years of experience delivering major technology and infrastructure projects across the UK.

In his new role, Townsend will lead the firm’s IGH practice, where he will be responsible for the strategy and growth of the business. This includes its support of the government and wider public sector in responding to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Prior to his appointment, he undertook a voluntary role as CEO for the Covid-19 Shielding Programme, which was designed to protect 2.25 million ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ NHS patients in England during the crisis. 

In addition, he previously acted as commercial director of Chelsea Football Club, where he was responsible for all commercial activities and revenue.

Prior to that, he was appointed CEO of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) in April 2014, and oversaw a £1bn government investment in improving broadband internet access and mobile infrastructure.

Before joining BDUK, Townsend was commercial director for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) between 2006 and 2012. During his tenure, he was responsible for raising £2.4bn to fund the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which he received an OBE in 2013.

In addition, Townsend was previously group marketing director at Transport for London, where he led the launch and marketing of the Oyster card. 

He was also marketing director for BSkyB, where he led the marketing launch of Sky’s subscription channels, including Sky Sports, Sky Movies, and Pay Per View. He was jointly responsible for the planning and implementation of the launch of Sky Digital TV.  

Chris Hearld, head of national markets, KPMG UK, said: “At a time where the role of Government has never been more vital, we are delighted to welcome Chris to our IGH practice. 

“He brings a wealth of experience and strong commercial acumen and that, along with a sharp perspective, will only further benefit our clients across IGH.”

Townsend added: “These are challenging times with the uncertain environment in the wake of COVID-19 continuing to have far-reaching implications for business and wider society. 

“As we move into the new reality, I’m excited to be joining KPMG and leading a world-class talented practice, supporting our clients in these extraordinary times.”

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