“I get up and have breakfast with my youngest son (Weetabix of course)”
Describe yourself in three words.
Positive, energetic, effective.
What’s your biggest professional achievement?
Getting funding then leading the design and build of the £6 million R&D centre for Campbell’s Soup Company
How did you get to where you are today?
After getting a degree in chemical engineering I started out in operations and followed that with stints in R&D, marketing and procurement. I’ve worked for three multinationals in the UK, Europe and the US. I’ve found that having a blend of technical and commercial skills is what has helped me be effective in multiple business scenarios and geographies.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I get up and have breakfast with my youngest son (Weetabix of course). Then head into Weetabix HQ. My days are hugely varied. With meetings ranging from discussions with farmers about the wheat they grow for us, to dealing with quality issues in our factories, to discussing innovation and future growth opportunities with members of our leadership team.
What have been the highlights of your company’s history, in your opinion?
Great products including Weetabix made with wheat grown within 50 miles of our factory. Weetabix has a history of looking forward and bringing exciting innovations to the market. We can also be very proud of our history of developing internal talent at the company.
What is your pet hate?
Anything that wastes time, especially road works.
Give us a positive prediction for the food industry over the next 12 months.
Brands like Weetabix with healthy food credentials will continue to do well. Consumer habits are constantly evolving and there is an increased demand for healthy food products, as well as nutritious options that can be consumed on-the-go. Brands that embrace these concepts, such as Weetabix, will continue to do well.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
Humility and the ability to listen. Encouraging staff to be the best they possibly can is a key philosophy here at Weetabix and we believe that the line managers can help people ‘make the difference’ at the company.
Who do you most admire?
People who stick with their principles, even if that isn’t always popular.
Which people/organisations or companies are the ones to watch right now?
Companies that are bringing disruptive innovation and business models like Amazon and Airbnb.
Which words do you most overuse?
I don’t know – you’d have to ask my team.
If you weren’t in your current position, what else might you be doing?
I would love to be an astronaut.
Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
I have been known to compete in 24 mountain bike races.
Coffee and walnut cake and port – not together.
What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
A time machine.
How do you relax?
Spending time with my family and mountain biking.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who got things done and treated others well along the way, as well as inspiring a team to be the best they can.