What was your first job? As a newspaper boy at 13. Getting up at 5am in the dark and freezing cold for £1 a day taught me the value of money and hard work.

Give us a quick rundown on your career. I was a grocery buyer across all the key departments during my time at Safeway and Sainsbury's. Since joining Danone I have managed across all core sales channels from Tesco to Morrisons, from foodservice and route-to-market controller and now convenience channel controller.

How did you get where you are today? Consistent delivery against all my commercial targets, keeping my promises, and putting the customer first.

What part has luck played in your career? Not a lot so far, I have always worked hard and made sure my managers knew where I wanted to be next.

What is the best decision you have made in your career? Turning down opportunities to wait for my chance to manage the Tesco account.

What was the worst? I can't think of any disasters, but I have definitely made lots of changes in each role I have had. Most worked, some failed, but I learnt more from the mistakes.

Who do you most admire in grocery? Sir Stuart Rose has done a great job reinventing M&S. And Sir Terry Leahy's consistency and tenacity of leadership in extending the Tesco brand will take some beating.

What is the most important tip you've ever been given?

The customer is always right!

What would you like to change about the industry? I'd change the short-term pursuit of price ahead of shopper experience and quality, and refocus efforts on preserving the long-term health of the industry.

What advice would you give to someone starting out? Have a career plan, decide where you want to be and by when, identify your key stakeholders and develop a plan of what you will need to do in order to get there.

What do you like doing when you are not working? Keeping fit, seeing friends, and planning the next country for my wife and I to explore.

How many hours do you work every week? 45-50 hours.

Are you good at managing work/life balance? Not bad, I live a short drive from the office and my wife is pretty demanding!