How did you get to where you are today?
I got to where I am today by following my instincts and working with an unwritten set of 'fair' commercial principles. I joined Garnier in 1990 from Gillette as a senior national account manager. In 1993 I was promoted to the role of national account controller on food for L'Oreal. In 1996 I became sales director for Garnier and in 2000 moved to become sales director for L'Oreal Paris UK. In April this year I moved to the new role of director of sales strategy for the consumer products division. The role is now spread across both L'Oreal and Garnier Maybelline,
What was the best/worst decision you have made in your career and why? The best was in not accepting a promotion in a previous company. It would have meant a move away from London, which is where I now work for L'Oreal.
Who do you admire in the industry? Anyone who can really instigate change for the better, not just revamp old ideas
Do you have any mentors and how have they helped in your career? I have never had a mentor but I take inspiration from different people in the industry, both inside and outside of L'Oreal.
What is the most important piece of information you have been told? You have one mouth and two ears; use them in that proportion and you will not go far wrong.
If you could change one thing about the grocery industry what would it be? I would like to see grocers tailor the merchandising of health and beauty products to better fulfill customer needs and not replicate the rest of the stores' merchandising. Too often I see food lines merchandised on more aspirational shelving than, say, skincare.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Watching young managers create new ideas to develop the business.
What is the one thing that you could not do your job without? A long memory regarding the reasons why something did or did not work.
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why? I would have challenged my line managers earlier when they gave me outrageous objectives.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry today? Look at the information, make a decision, then feel confident about it.
What do you like doing outside of work? Winning at golf; currently, I mostly lose.
Where do you hope to be in five years' time?
Playing a similar role, but having more time to appreciate it.