Dr Ros Rivaz

Dr Ros Rivaz

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Former COO, Smith & Nephew

To book Ros Rivaz please contact your JLA Agent.


Ros has a wide range of experience in executive and non-executive roles in blue chip companies, predominantly in highly regulated and high hazard environments. Before her role as Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Ros led the global supply chain for Diageo. She dealt with a range of challenges from security risks to new competitors and changing customer priorities. In her presentations she uses examples like patient-specific replacement joints to assess the broader implications of new technologies, the knock-on effect of change, the reliability of the supply chain and how it can be used to inform the whole business.


Dr Ros Rivaz was Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Non-Executive Director for the UK Government's MOD Defence Equipment and Support Agency. She has held a range of senior executive roles in manufacturing and supply and retail sectors. Ros was Chief Operating Officer of medical technology company Smith & Nephew and held positions at Diageo and ICI. She takes a practical view of leadership, strategy, and the challenges facing every business and board.

Having studied chemistry, Ros took up supply roles at ExxonMobil and Tate & Lyle. She joined chemical giant ICI as the SVP of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain before moving to international drinks company Diageo as Global Supply Chain MD and Chair of the board. After a period running Operations and Supply Chain for Premier Foods, Ros’s last stop was as COO at Smith & Nephew before taking on a range of non-executive positions and chairs.

Ros’s wide experience gives her a perspective on the challenges of running any organisation, with a particular insight into those in the manufacturing and supply sectors. She takes a pragmatic approach to leading complex organisations through a range of challenges from security risks to new competitors entering the market, staffing to changing customer priorities.

With real life examples such as Smith & Nephew’s work to develop patient-specific replacement joints, Ros speaks about the implications new technologies can have throughout the business from design and engineering to sales and supply chain, and not just in the expected areas. She looks at the knock-on effects of apparently unconnected changes in technology, policy, society and the marketplace, risk, and the strategic reaction to it, and what it takes to be a successful leader. In more specific areas she also considers the security and reliability of supply chain, how the supply chain can be used to inform the whole business, and the opportunities it can present.

Ros also examines questions such as whether the modern leader is at the top of a hierarchy or the centre of a network, and how they can balance hard-headed business decisions with empathy for those affected by them. As well as speaking on a range of industry and leadership issues, Ros is passionate about widening interest in and access to engineering and science careers.



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