How did you get to where you are today?
July 2006 marked my 20th anniversary with General Mills. As a big, global food company, they have been able to give me many and varied opportunities, which have kept me interested and let me develop my career. I arrived where I am today via local, regional and global roles in the US, Latin America and Switzerland, and I am now managing a diverse portfolio of great brands for the UK and Ireland markets.
What was the best decision you have made in your career and why?
Not to leave. I have had opportunities put my way - and I even resigned once. But in retrospect I am really glad I didn't. I am not sure that moving would have added anything and I could easily have lost out in many ways.
Who do you most admire in the industry?
Companies that spot a trend and create breakthrough new products - the obvious current example being Innocent.
Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career?
I have friendships going back 15 to 20 years with a variety of great colleagues, both here and in the US. All of them have been mentors at times.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing young talent rising through our organisation and the glee I feel when we uncover a genuine insight that will drive our business.
What could you not do your job without?
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why?
I'm happy with the choices I've made. I got an MBA and found it useful, I went into a food company and found working with food tremendously interesting. I went into marketing and found out I was quite good at it. I like where I ended up, so I probably wouldn't do anything very differently.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today?
Find a company you can respect. Go for a variety of assignments - cross-functional, if you can - and in the early years learn as much as you can from others and use this as a basis to learn to think for yourself.
What do you like doing when you are not working?
Horse riding, horse racing, golf, cooking and eating.
Where do you hope to be in five years' time?
I'd like to carry on with General Mills. It would be a shame to stop now. Either in an expanded version of my current role as we grow or in a multi-market role.