I knew from an early age that I wanted a career in advertising, which is why I chose a specialist course at Watford College.
This set me up for my first job, at Y&R in 1987, working in the media department of a full service advertising agency. The following 13 years took me to TMD (now Aegis), Still Price Lintas, Mediacom and Mediavest, working alongside some of the industry’s best operators, such as Nigel Sharrocks, Mark Craze and Jim Marshall. By the time I left Mediavest, I was in charge of a 35 strong planning team.
In 2000, I joined a boutique agency called MSc, a joint venture between PHD and Partners BDDH. As a modern, planning-only comms agency, it was a precursor to the likes of Naked. Ironically, it was the launch of Naked later that year that brought about my move to PHD. When Jon, John and Will left PHD to form Naked, they left a gap that MSc would help to fill.
I spent the next 7 years at PHD, heading up business that included BT, Adidas and the BBC, before being promoted to Managing Director in 2007.
After four successful years as Managing Director, I became CEO in January 2011 and helped to lead the agency into its most successful ever period. In my 6 years as CEO, the agency won 7 agency of the year accolades, 6 Grand Prix awards and 2 Cannes Lions Gold awards. I also oversaw new business successes that included Cadbury, Kraft, Expedia, British Heart Foundation, Dyson, Confused, Viacom, Carnival Cruises, Twitter and Magners. But my proudest achievement was securing a top 50 position in the Sunday Times Best Companies survey for four consecutive years, a feat that is unrivalled by any marketing services company.
Thirty years on from Watford College, my passion has shifted from advertising to talent, culture and organisational effectiveness and that’s why I am so pleased to be joining Kathleen and The Lighthouse Company. I have championed female talent, inclusivity and diversity in the workplace for many years now and this has led me to speak at events for the IPA, the 3 Percent Conference, Bloom, HeForShe, Token Man and Omniwomen.
Outside of work, I am married to Nicky and have two feisty teenagers, Theo and Georgia. Theo shares my unfortunate allegiance to QPR and we console each other every week.