Jeremy is an internationally experienced business executive with a track record of success in developing markets, building brands, driving business and stimulating innovation across different sectors as a Marketing Director, Commercial Director, General Manager, CEO and Chair. Jeremy has successfully managed multi-cultural teams with globally respected employers/brands. A passionate leader of leaders, who thrives by inspiring and motivating teams to achieve beyond expectation. An active philanthropist, he has completed many significant challenges to personally raise more than £25,000 for charity.
- What are you most proud of professionally?
Seeing Apple Pay launched in Europe has to be a career highlight. After working in the industry for quite some time to get mobile payments going – working with banks, telcos and various technology operators on multiple pilots – it was great to see Apple crack it and for it finally to happen at scale. I was ‘on point’ for Visa to oversee the launch with European banks and to manage the Apple relationship. A great consumer solution gaining traction in market all the time. There was a huge amount of work for Visa, Mastercard and the banks to enable Apple Pay, but the consumer excitement and genuine wow factor at launch was definitely worth it
- In today’s VUCA world, what do you see as the biggest challenge for leaders?
Staying calm in a crisis is key, and thinking clearly with the best available information you can get hold of. As to ambiguity and complexity – trusted advisors – either on your Board or as ‘friends of company’ basis can be a great help. The world is increasingly volatile and unpredictable, so agility and adaptability are prized qualities. ‘Agile methodology’ has been around a while now in technology development, but the same approach can be used across other corporate functions.
- How important is it to be empathetic as a leader?
I think that empathy is really important in business – having the ability to step into the shoes of your customers, your staff, your investors and any other stakeholder group. If you can develop an understanding of how others feel / see the world then you simply make better decisions I think. It does not mean that you have to compromise a particular course of action, but it can help you to position a particular action, decision or initiative in the right way.
- How do you continue learning when you’re ‘top of the pile’?
By staying naturally curious, and asking ‘what if’ type questions.
- What are the 3 most important things (values or behaviours) you look for when hiring? And why?
I think creativity, ambition and resilience are essential plus an innate collegiate approach – working with other people to get great things done. I know that is four things !
- What is more important – acquiring talent or retaining talent?
I would say that “developing talent” is more important, but you have to get that talent into the business in the first place. Nothing is more rewarding than hiring a great person and working with them to develop them into an even better person. Conversely – hiring the wrong person can consume a disproportionate amount of one’s time. In terms of retention, I’ve always taken the view that it is a good thing that people move on. The trick is to get the best out of them whilst they are with you, and to leave on terms that when you next meet them (which of course you will) then they still think positively about the business that they used to be a part of.