- Course: BA Economics and Accounting
- Year of graduation: 1985
- Nationality: British
- Job title: Chief Financial Officer
- Company: Rolls Royce
Stephen Daintith started his impressive career in 1985 with PriceWaterhouse (PwC) where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and following roles at Forte plc and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority he joined British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1996. In his nine years at BAT he worked in a variety of roles including Finance Director in South Africa and Pakistan and CEO in Bangladesh and Switzerland.
After BAT, Stephen continued his career at News Corporation, becoming Chief Financial Officer at News International in 2005 and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Dow Jones in 2008. In 2011 Stephen became Finance Director of Daily Mail and General Trust plc.
Before joining the University of Leeds, Stephen already had a clear career path in mind, wanting to enter the field of accountancy, which prompted him to choose the BA Economics and Accounting programme. Having a long term view is something that Stephen advocates and saw him realise his ambitions by securing a position at PwC (then known as Price Waterhouse) post-graduation.
Coming to study at Leeds meant stepping away from the relatively small village in Cumbria where Stephen grew up: “The move and subsequent university experience kindled my career ambitions. Mixing with my peers, lecturers and tutors, as well as the experience as a whole, really exposed me to the outside world after living in a pretty remote part of the country.” This laid the foundations of what has become a truly international career.
A defining memory of life at Leeds for Stephen was his involvement in the the Ents Society; a team of students who, through Leeds University Union, helped to organise and run events held in the Refectory and other venues. With an acute awareness of the University’s rock pedigree, Stephen looks back fondly on the concerts in which he was able to participate. These included the Clash, the Cult, Howard Jones, the Pretenders, Simple Minds, Sisters of Mercy, the Smiths, U2 and Wham, to name but a few in long list of extraordinary acts.
Stephen says “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Leeds and although I’m not really sure I qualify as an outstanding alumni I enjoyed reflecting on my hugely enjoyable three years there. I am still in contact with several fellow Leeds graduates and we often have a good laugh when we look back to the fun times we had in the 1980s”.