Simon Knight

Sales & marketing director, Burts Chips, on BMWs, Steve Winwood and confined spaces

simon knight burts

What was your first-ever job? Sweeping out stockrooms in Debenhams. It led to an enjoyable career for seven years in retail.

What has been your worst job interview? For a job in retail. Before arriving I had filled up my car with diesel and poured most of it on my trousers and shoes so didn’t smell so good!

What was the first music single you bought? ‘Sign o’ the Times’ by Prince.

What do you tell your mates your job is? I am chief potato peeler.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing how we have grown and knowing that I have helped to shape that growth and develop our people. Oh, and opening up a bag of chips just off the line!

What is the least rewarding? Having to lose the weight I put on every time I am in the factory.

What is your motto in life? Have some fun.

If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? I am big fan of cars and am fortunate to have a few classics. I am keen to offset my fuel use with a hybrid but convincing the boss to allow me a BMW i8 is not easy.

Do you have any phobias? I am not a fan of confined spaces and the last team build I went on when at my previous company was caving! I am now having counselling and should really send them the bill.

If you could change one thing in crisps/bagged snacks what would it be? Retailers need to support the smaller supplier more. We can be much more creative, nimbler and come up with new and interesting products.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? A fridge full of never-ending food and a big solar-powered sound system playing Steve Winwood.

What animal most reflects your personality? A polar bear. Works very hard to provide for its family, and not to be messed with.

What is your favourite film and why? The Shawshank Redemption. Brilliant storyline, acting and good over evil.

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? First time presenting to my previous company’s sales team of 250 with my flies open. I soon realised, it created a room full of laughter and really broke the ice.

Which celebrity would you most like to work with and why? Will Smith. His energy and humour are infectious.