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Before taking on a portfolio of directorships, Allan rose from salesman to marketing director at Mars. He then turned around Asda and became CEO of Wal-Mart Europe. In his major book On Leadership, he draws on numerous others to distil a coherent and practical vision. Allan advocates common sense strategies, thinking small, improving communication and listening to the customer.
The former Chairman of Royal Mail has built a reputation as one of the best managers in Britain. Before arriving at his current portfolio of directorships, he progressed from Mars salesman to President and CEO of Walmart Europe.
He has returned the postal service to profitability and averted national strikes. As with any of his organisations, Allan focuses on listening to customers and improving internal communication. He believes in simple strategies: thinking small, putting yourself in the customers’ shoes and focusing on execution.
As well as the Royal Mail Group, Allan Leighton is Deputy Chairman of Selfridges and a non-Executive Director of BskyB. He advises Loblaw, Canada’s largest food retailer, and has also served on the board of Dyson, Scottish Power and Lastminute.com, and chaired Race for Opportunity.
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