Allan Leighton has had a fascinating career with top posts at Mars, Pedigree and Wal-Mart. He has managed to turn business around and improve profits at the Royal Mail and he continues to advise numerous well known companies. Allan’s expertise and experiences allow him to share anecdotes, insight and knowledge which focuses on leadership, people, customer service and most other business topics. He is an effective communicator and he has an inspiring history in the world of business.
Allan started his career as a salesman at Mars Confectionery in 1974. By the time he left, in 1991, he had worked his way up through the company. He then joined Pedigree Petfoods, where he was Sales Director until his appointment in 1992 to Asda Stores Ltd. At Asda, Allan started out as Group Marketing Director and in September 1996 he was appointed Chief Executive. When the American company Wal-Mart bought Asda, in November 1999, Allan became the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe.
In November 2000 he left Asda and developed a new work ethic – ‘Going Plural’ – and he took on non-executive positions in a number of companies including lastminute.com, Dyson Ltd, Cannons Group Ltd, Bhs Ltd, BSkyB Group plc and Selfridges & Co.
Allan joined the Royal Mail as company Chairman in 2002, he then took the company through a period of modernisation that has transformed Royal Mail from loss making into a profitable business. In March 2009 Allan stepped down from his role, making him the Royal Mail’s longest serving Chairman.
Allan was President of Loblaw Companies ltd from 2008-2011 and has acted as a Consultant to George Weston Ltd (Holding company of Loblaw) since 2000. In February 2011, Allan announced that he was stepping aside as President and deputy chairman of Loblaw but he will continue his role as business advisor to George Weston ltd.
Allan is currently Chairman of Pandora A/S, Chairman of MusicMagpie.co.uk, Chairman of Pace, Chairman of Office, and deputy Chairman of an Inspirational Journey.
In 2004 Allan was awarded an Honorary Degree at Cranfield University and in 2010 the University of Lancashire awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of outstanding achievements.
Allan is a Patron of Breast Cancer Care and all proceeds from his books ‘On Leadership: Practical Wisdom from the People Who Know’ and ‘Tough Calls’ go to this charity. This is a part of his pledge to raise £1million for this fantastic cause.
- Tough calls
- Customer service
- Most business topics
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