Manchester Met Uni appoints Snap boss Lea as chair

Bridget Lea

Manchester Metropolitan University has appointed Bridget Lea as Pro-Chancellor and Chair of its Board of Governors.

Mancunian Lea is a Manchester Met alumna and has been a member of its Board of Governors since August 2022.

She will take over from current Pro-Chancellor and Chair Simon Duffy on January 1, 2025.

“An accomplished business leader with over 25 years of experience, Lea is currently the Vice-President and General Manager, UK for Snap Inc, a technology company with three core products, the visual messaging app Snapchat, AR platform Lens Studio and its AR glasses, Spectacles,” said Manchester Metropolitan.

Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Met, said: “I am delighted that Bridget Lea has been appointed as the new Chair of our Board of Governors.

“It is even more special that Bridget is a graduate of our University.

“Bridget has been a supporter of our University for many years and her business insight has been invaluable. In addition, her career journey is an inspiration for all of us. I look forward to working with her to deliver our ambitious plans for the future.”

Lea said:  “As both a Mancunian and an alumna, it is a great privilege to be appointed as the next Pro-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair of its Board of Governors.

“Since first joining the Board, I have been greatly impressed by the leadership, staff and students of the University.

“I am proud that Manchester Met is not only one of the most applied to universities in the UK, but that it is also one of the most diverse and inclusive.

“A third of our full-time home undergraduate students identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic and almost half of our undergraduate students are the first in their family to progress to higher education.

“As someone who was also the first from my family to go to university, I recognise the value of an education and the opportunities it can bring. Studying at Manchester Met was a transformational experience for me, as I know it is for many of our students.

“I am immensely grateful to Simon for his guidance and encouragement, and I greatly look forward to working with Malcolm, his team and my fellow Board members in the months and years to come. Manchester Met is an exceptional university with a very bright future ahead.”

Lea was previously MD of the Commercial Division at BT EE, responsible for commercial trading and strategy for the three customer-facing consumer brands BT, EE and PlusNet, with a team of over 10,000 people. She has worked across a number of high-profile organisations.

After graduating from Manchester Met in 1994 with an IT degree, Lea initially secured a graduate position at Marks & Spencer before going onto work for brands including Topshop, Sainsbury’s and O2.

She is also a non-executive director for Marston’s plc.