I began as a sales rep with Procter & Gamble in the Birmingham and Coventry area.
After a year of driving round with leaking packets of Ariel and split packs of Pampers in my boot, I fell in love with brand marketing as an assistant product manager with Sharwood’s. I spent three years developing Chinese food, introducing the first mainstream Thai and Malaysian products to the UK.
After becoming senior brand manager, I left to join St Ivel, working in a commercial role on its own label chilled juice business.
After 18 months I said “yes” to Del Monte to take control of the branded food side. I spent seven years working on canned fruit and fruit juice, rising to become European marketing director. From there, I left to join Yoplait Dairy Crest in a new product development role but soon took responsibility for all the marketing. Now I am also a member of the management board.
How does your role differ from when you were solely marketing director?
Because I sit on the YDC management board I am more involved in broad business strategy rather than focusing solely on marketing plans.
Do marketing professionals make good MDs and if so, why?
Our current managing director, Jan Lloyd, is a marketing professional by background so I would say yes.
I think marketing gives a broad understanding of many aspects of the business, including finance, logistics, sales and production. It is an outward facing role vital for running a business.
Marketing professionals are often confident and communicative, important skills in developing teamwork and motivation.
What do you like most about your job?
Working with a young, bright and enthusiastic team.
In addition I have enjoyed reintroducing the little French girl to Petits Filous advertising; passing £100m in brand sales and achieving our highest-ever brand share.