The former President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe, and current Chairman of the Co-Op, Allan Leighton is an internationally lauded keynote speaker and author on management and leadership. Inspiring and informed, Allan draws on his experience at the likes of Royal Mail, lastminute.com, Leeds United, BHS, BSkyB and Selfridges.
Allan Leighton is a superb keynote speaker and started speaking with the aim of raising £1m for Breast Cancer Charities.
Allan started his career in Mars Confectionery as a Salesman in 1974. He worked his way up through the company before leaving in 1991. He then joined Pedigree Petfoods, where he was Sales Director until his appointment in 1992 to Asda Stores Ltd. Allan began his career in Asda as Group Marketing Director and was appointed Chief Executive in September 1996. There he was credited with turning around what he once described as a basket case into a highly successful company that was sold to US retail giant Wal-Mart for £6.7 billion in 1999. In November 1999 Allan became the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe.
In November 2000 Allan Leighton left Asda and developed a new work ethic – ‘Going Plural' – as he took on non-executive positions in a string of companies including lastminute.com, Leeds United, Bhs, BSkyB and Selfridges. Allan is former Chairman of the Royal Mail Group, and Deputy Chairman of Selfridges & Co and George Weston Ltd, President of Loblaw Companies Ltd, and Non Executive Director of BSkyB Group plc. He was CEO of the Danish jewellery company Pandora until February 2015 and is currently Chairman of the Co-Op.
Allan's book On Leadership: Practical Wisdom From The People Who Know was published by Random House in 2007. At publication, it was the best selling business book in the UK. World Business called it "a profoundly hopeful read – informed by the almost palpable joy Leighton feels in inspiring and leading others". Chris Blackhurst, Business Editor of the Evening Standard said it was “The best management book I've read in a long while”.
In September 2011, Allan's book "'Tough Calls: Making the right decisions in difficult times' was released
Known for his straightforward approach to business, Allan gives audiences practical tools to improve productivity focusing on customer service and internal communication, making Allan the perfect keynote speaker for any corporate event.