My purpose is: To bring the essence of Pollyanna into the room. This means that I am passionate about finding creative ways to solve problems and always believe we can find a positive outcome. This purpose has guided my career in Unilever as I’ve always sought out roles where I can inspire others and overcome barriers to change. I started out in Unilever in South Africa in the Finance department working as a Factory Accountant, and then soon moved into Customer Development where I thrived in roles motivating the salesforce. Showing my age, one of my proudest moments during this time was launching a Top Gun sales promotion programme which went on to become our #1 programme.
I next moved into HR specialising in Change Management and Leadership Development as I became more passionate about driving systemic change. I took on a global role in the UK and developed toolkits to help teams thrive during times of change. I then took up an opportunity to live and work in Shanghai as Leadership Development Director in our North Asia business. This was a real adventure – full of challenge and learning. I am most proud of setting up our global Talent & Organisation initiative which helped our various HR teams around the world assess how to best grow and develop their organisations. I then spent 2 years back in Africa setting up our talent pipelines to ensure we had access to the best talent possible. Here I was able to live my purpose by setting up our Youth Employability programme helping thousands of youngsters get access to great learning materials and the opportunity to join our Global Future Leaders League competition.
I moved back to the UK in 2016 as Global Director of Learning for Leadership and Business skills and had the wonderful opportunity to design and deliver our Discover your Purpose programme which has reached close to 40,000 employees already. Nowadays, I am the HR Strategy Director and enjoying seeing how everything fits together and how HR can best support the business to do well by doing good.
I am married to Marisa (we’ll be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in November this year) and have 2 children – Matthew and Emma. We enjoy playing card games together as a family and every now and then they allow me to inflict a hike on them. In my spare time I enjoy trail running, dancing and telling jokes.