Managing Director for Immaterial, based in London

The media venture studio Immaterial is recruiting a Managing Director to further establish and grow our early-stage company, partnering with leading creators, producers and commercial partners to launch and operate new shows in the media landscape, ranging from podcasts to video series. We are looking for an experienced media industry leader sharing our principles and ambitions.

You are specialised in project development and commercial growth within media, culture and entertainment, possessing both a hands-on mentality and an eye for the bigger picture. You are structured and process-driven – yet not at all a bureaucrat, but a builder; the frameworks you develop are all about enabling scale at speed.

Our mission is to appeal to the English-speaking world with the series we develop, building and monetising them into household brands in their content categories. The UK and US are our two primary markets. Our greatest asset is our deep and ever-evolving understanding of people, culture, media and technology. We seize opportunities in emerging technologies, trends and behavioural shifts, finding pockets where massive cultural and commercial potential coincide.

Unbound by formats, as production is something we partner with others for, we are able to develop concepts freely, focusing solely on the audience.

Our first project, launched in March 2024, is the football podcast Heroes & Humans, hosted by Simon Kuper, a Financial Times columnist and renowned football writer, and Mehreen Khan, Economics Editor of The Times, portraying notable people within the sport. Today, there is no sports show among the global top 25 podcasts, despite an estimated 20% of podcast listening being in the sports category.

The company fosters an inclusive environment where driven personalities can thrive. We work hard, move swiftly, and dive deep into challenges. Our focus on top talent shapes our recruitment and development approach.

The Managing Director’s mission

You are entering the company in an early phase, where some of the first assignments will be to establish our HQ, accelerate the Heroes & Humans project, build the team, develop partnerships, and start planning for new initiatives.

The key position as Managing Director comes with a competitive compensation package for an early-stage media company, with an equitable base salary and stock options, reflecting the responsibility of driving our company's growth and organisational development.

By this fall, we plan to accelerate commercial growth, refine our first landmark project, and start developing our second and third projects. For our next media brands, we are carefully exploring potential content themes, from travel to the arts. You will be an important decision-maker in choosing our next strategic bets.

In the near future, the business will mainly grow organically, where the commercial viability and efficiency of existing or near-term projects will unlock opportunities for additional external investments. After incrementally developing and launching our first 2-3 projects, while refining our ways of working, we will then enter a period of fast scaling (tentatively in the fall of 2025).

You will work closely with our founder/chair (who works part-time with the company), as well as with the creators, producers and partners we collaborate with. In August-September 2024, a visiting MBA candidate from Stanford GSB (with strategy consulting experience, or similar) will support you as Managing Director in creating an external assessment and a near-future plan for the company. As part of that process, you will also shape a plan for how to grow the organisation, and then lead the recruiting efforts to expand the team.

We are looking for someone who is used to working in extremely change-driven environments and can enjoy the stark contrasts between the different phases we will go through. We envision you growing together with the company, shaping its direction and leaving a lasting impact on the global landscape of media, entertainment and culture.

Our principles, which are important for you to share
  1. Top talent focus. From the people we hire to the creators we work with and the partners we team up with, we strive to work with the best people and nurture our people in becoming the best.
  2. We die with our own ideas. This means we adhere to our vision without compromise, requiring us to work hard and not giving up in the face of difficulties.
  3. Self-leadership. An extra sense of responsibility and ownership, and ability to take initiatives, is crucial for everyone – and especially for our MD. This doesn’t mean anyone is left on their own, but we set our individual standards high.
  4. Collaboration. We are supportive of each other and have an open, curious, collaborative approach to people both internally and externally. We embrace long-term relationships and partnerships.
  5. Bias for action. The best way to learn is to try, and the best way to achieve results is to execute.
  6. Always learning. We are humbled by everything we don’t know and realise there are even things we don’t know that we don’t know. This humility and curiosity fuels the expansion of our expertise.
  7. Selectivity. Adding something of value in a dense media landscape is not the easiest job. That’s why we choose our initiatives with care and only do projects meeting all our requirements, both from storytelling and market perspectives. If our conviction is not strong enough, then we shouldn’t do it.
  8. Only develop concepts where wit meets wisdom. We don’t do platitudes, we want to make people think and feel something, yet deliver that in a light-hearted way.
  9. We go for highly engaging content categories. We address the domains that many people care deeply about.
  10. We aim to be best in category. When we enter a category, we do it to become the category winner.
  11. The perfect fit between audience and creators. We operate in a multi-stakeholder environment, but most important for us to understand are audiences and creators. It’s in this very duality that magic happens.
  12. Format agnosticism. Our projects can take many forms and expressions. We start with the audience, the creators and the story – how we choose to tell it is just a consequence of those things.
Role & responsibilities
As Managing Director, you guide the company’s direction and lead its operations. These responsibilities include:
  • Strategy: Outline and implement robust strategies aimed at propelling commercial expansion and project development. Identifying new market opportunities, optimising efficiency, and positioning the company at the forefront of innovation.
  • Growth: Drive organic growth by enhancing the commercial viability and operational efficiency of existing and near-term projects. Includes scaling our projects’ audience base, maximising and diversifying revenue streams.
  • Operational excellence: Develop an operational playbook with our best practices in project development, creative processes, and strategic approaches. Optimise the entire value chain, driving efficiency and profitability across all facets of development, production, distribution,  branding, marketing & community engagement, and monetisation. This integrated effort aims to ensure our ventures are scalable, replicable, and at the forefront of their categories.
  • Team leadership: Build and guide a dynamic team dedicated to achieving the company’s strategic goals and to deliver within each operational area. Foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement, ensuring team members are empowered and aligned with the company's vision.
  • Talent development and attraction: ​​attracting, nurturing and retaining top talent.
  • Finance & investor relations: Budgeting, forecasting, and financial planning to ensure the company’s projects and operational activities are financially viable. Monitor financial performance, adjusting plans as necessary to address challenges and seize opportunities for growth. Administer possible future fundraising and investor relations efforts.
  • Back office functions: Oversee the setup and management of back office functions, including HR, finance, and IT, and establish a physical office in London to support our team's needs and productivity.
  • Project oversight and development: Refine our existing projects, such as the flagship football podcast, and spearhead the development of new initiatives. Managing diverse content themes and audiences, while ensuring that each project is strategically aligned with our mission and growth objectives.
  • Partnership development: Cultivate and deepen relationships with creators, platforms, producers and brands.
Your qualifications
  • 10+ years of managerial experience in commercial development of media, entertainment and/or cultural IP rights
  • Experience with P&L responsibility, strong financial skills and a proven track record of optimising capital efficiency
  • Background at either a market-leading or a truly pioneering company in media, entertainment or technology, or both
  • Corporate strategy experience
  • Have worked across various media formats, such as audio, video and the written word
  • Established relationships with social and streaming platforms as well as with creators, from influencers to journalists
  • Proven track-record of driving commercial growth and strategic sales
  • Understanding of growth marketing and data-driven analysis and an ability to apply it in decision-making
  • Strong project and process development skills and a proven track record of creating efficient and fast-moving ways of working
  • Being an inspiring leader, compatible both with creative and commercial people and with a natural ability to transfer knowledge
  • Great intuition for talent, and most other things
  • Dual UK and US market experience is meriting

N.B. If you do not match the lion’s share of these criteria, please do not apply, as we won’t go forward with your application.

Compensation & benefits
  • £120,000 annual base salary
  • Performance-based salary bonus
  • A significant stock options scheme
  • Pension contributions
  • Health & wellness benefits
  • Insurance coverages
  • Flexible work up to two days per week
  • 33 days of annual vacation, including bank holidays
The process

Apr 22: Application deadline
Interview round 1
Candidate tests 
Interview round 2
Interview round 3 (final)