While many may quibble with this reasoning, few would doubt Cosslett's determination to further the cause of confectionery; his commanding presence and emphatic style of speech hint that this is a man who likes to be on the winning side. It is easy to imagine him as a rugby captain ­ which he has been many times. And although he says he's competitive, it is team glory rather than individual prizes that motivate him. He likes to get involved in the minutiae, has been known to join production workers on the nightshift and often emphasises the calibre of his management team. Assembling his winning side has meant some difficult decisions in the 18 months he has been at the helm of the evolving company ­ the combined forces of Cadbury's chocolate and Trebor Bassett's sugar confectionery businesses. Much of the reorganisation has hinged on his creed that people must be in the right job to give their best. "I like getting the most out of people," he says. "And I don't shy away from having candid conversations. It's never easy but you have to have a clarity of agenda and think who's going to fit." Despite the semi-ruthless words, the movement of 1,200 of the company's 6,000 staff to different roles in different locations and the fact that not one of the sales force is still doing the job they were doing a year ago, it's clear Cosslett cares that employees are happy about the changes. "Quite often it takes the weight off someone's shoulders if they aren't coping or are doing something they don't want to do," he says. Since the merger was completed in June, the company's administration has shifted away from Bournville, Cadbury's Birmingham birthplace. All 11 UK sites are still in operation, but the commercial marketing, commercial finance and HR functions have moved to Maple Cross in Hertfordshire. Bournville takes care of logistics, distribution and technical issues, as well as chocolate manufacturing, while customer order management is based in Sheffield. The lilac and mint coloured walls of the Maple Cross offices are a visual progression from Cadbury's traditional deep purple and Victoriana, and they hint at one of the reasons the new company has not centred on Bournville. Cosslett believes that adapting the culture and establishing the new business as different from its parts were key. "The Bournville culture is so powerful that it would have been difficult to maintain the sugar business profile there," he says. Change is something Cosslett has seen a lot of in the 22 years of his working life, and has proved a sound base for presiding over the reshuffle. He's had a total of 14 jobs in 11 years at Unilever and another 11 at Cadbury Schweppes, in sales, marketing and as a manager director. He has headed up ­ and integrated ­ Cadbury Schweppes' Australian beverage business and food businesses, set up joint ventures in China ­ among other countries ­ and been chief of Cadbury's Asia Pacific region confectionery business. He's proud of the fact that Cadbury is one of the few international companies to make money in China. This background has produced transferable expertise in the food and drink industry and definite ideas on Cadbury Trebor Bassett's goals and on the confectionery category in general. He is honest enough to admit the company's previous failings. "Although Trebor Bassett had a good reputation as far as logistics and customer service were concerned, Cadbury had not done the best job it could," he concedes. "It tended to insist it knew best." The fact that Cadbury is the number one UK food brand overall and number one in retail, but only 43rd in foodservice, alarms him. "What does that say about how we've not leveraged our brands?" he asks. Developments for Cadbury Trebor Bassett centre on a five-point Cornerstone' plan which involves: building on the power of the brands; doubling outlets; innovation; customising the business for every customer, and maintaining efficiency. Selling Wall's ice cream on the streets of Liverpool ­ Cosslett's first job ­ planted the seeds of empathy with staff on the frontline. "I've never forgotten what it felt like trying to sell products that customers didn't want, coming up against competitors who seemed to be able to do anything price wise, not being told what was going on," he says. He admits to missing the grassroots camaraderie. "It's one of the sadnesses of business that the higher you go the more remote you become and the more people become estranged. It's a great shame ­ you're not that far away from them." For Cosslett, clear communication is essential. "Business is about getting the shortest lines of communication and informal chats are more important than formal ones. There's no value in me having one vision and the brand managers having another," he says. He had the chance to put these ideals into practice with a presentation to employee representatives at the NEC, Birmingham, earlier this year. He relished the experience, but it's the effect on staff that he's most proud of. "It was the biggest thing the NEC had ever put on," he says. "We manoeuvred 1,700 people between five interactive presentations ­ including a Formula One racing crew ­ and used 130 technicians. "A conference research company audited it. We got the highest positive feedback it had ever seen," he says. The same enthusiasm is apparent when he reveals the Cornerstone details. "Many people think the confectionery market in the UK is mature. I say, just watch this space." And he waxes lyrical about the emotional side of confectionery. "Two thirds of confectionery is bought on an emotional basis, not a functional one. The power of confectionery is its breadth and the way it touches people," he says. "It's an opportunity for a moment of pleasure." Cadbury's most recent generic ad campaign established an emotional positioning for the brand and set up a foundation on which to build in more emotive associations, such as with seasons and events. Doubling the number of points of sale is also a target. "Confectionery is the most impulse-driven category," he says. "Yet you can't buy it in shopping centres or sports venues and only 5% of the 80,000 pubs in this country sell it." Activity here includes a 10-year extension of the London Underground vending contract and trials of display stands in 1,000 pubs. He wants to bring innovation to the confectionery category ­ an important issue in a market where 70% of volume comes from brands launched before 1960. "It needs products that change the way people feel about it," he says. It is unlikely that Cosslett will ever need to eat chocolate for its relaxing properties. He says what little stress he feels is eased by his family (he has a son and daughter aged 12 and 10) and anyway, he thrives on change. He also has a lot of energy. In the last five years, he has made 42 trips between the UK and Australia. This energy extends to an active social conscience and Cadbury's Quaker-based philanthropic heritage is probably in safe hands. He is also passionate about the state of British society. After six years in Australia ­ where he missed British humour, hedgerows and history ­ he says he was shocked by the change in his home country. He condemns dirt, the treatment of older people, the state of hospitals ("worse than the back streets of Jakarta"), laddish culture, lack of social responsibility and obsession with celebrity, as the country's major ailments. Success, though, is something he enjoys sharing. "My brother has a business and is incredibly successful but he employs only four people, so when he achieves something, he celebrates virtually on his own. If I achieve, I celebrate with 6,000 people ­ it's achievement multiplied by 6,000."n {{PROFILE }}