Meet the leaders of industry at UWE

Issue date: 08 March 2011

Robert Walker, Chairman, Travis Perkins plc, will share his expertise on competitive dynamics at the first talk in the Spring Distinguished Executive Address Series on Wednesday 9 March 2011, 18:00 –20:30 at the University of the West of England's Frenchay Campus.

The Distinguished Executive Address Series 'Meet the Leaders of Industry' is organised by UWE's Bristol Business School. Leaders from key UK businesses and organisations talk to students and staff about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

Robert Walker is Chairman of Travis Perkins and Americana International; and a Non-Executive Director of Tate and Lyle. He was previously Chairman of WH Smith PLC, Williams Lea, and BCA Europe and has served on various FTSE 100/250 Boards, including Wolseley, BAA, Signet, Thomson Travel Group and Severn Trent, where he was Group Chief Executive. He has also served as Adviser to Cinven. He started his career at Procter and Gamble and Mckinsey & Co. and then spent over 20 years with PepsiCo, culminating as a Division President. He was educated at Hampton School and Magdalen College, Oxford.

The address, 'Competitive dynamics and competitive advantage; a personal journey' will explore the lessons he has learned from his involvement in a number of high profile leadership roles. He will draw on his personal experience of competitive dynamics and competitive strategy moves in a number of high profile companies, including the 'Cola Wars' during which Robert was Division President in PepsiCo.

Competitive rivalry is a topical issue as it often intensifies during times of slow economic growth. Robert will focus on how businesses can actually gain from this and will draw on examples where positioning is the key to success.

There will also be an opportunity for the audience to put forward their issues and questions.

The Distinguished Executive Address Series of talks will continue until Tuesday 24 May 2011 and will feature Chairmen, CEOs and institutional leaders representing a variety of sectors.

Speakers include:

Thursday 24 March 2011, 18:00-20:30, David Flory, Deputy Chief Executive, NHS England, will deliver his address entitled 'A management of change so big you can see it from space', Frenchay Campus.

Thursday 31 March 2011, 18:00-20:30, Susan Taylor Martin, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters, will give will give her address 'The key trends that will shape our corporate world over the next decade', Frenchay Campus.

Wednesday 6 April 2011, 18:00-20:30, Brendan Barber, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress will deliver his address 'From austerity to prosperity', Futures Inn, Bristol.

Tuesday 24 May 2011, 18:00-20:30, Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive, Centrica PLC will deliver the final address in the series on 'Socially responsible business leadership', Frenchay Campus.

Series organiser, Professor Nicholas O'Regan says, “We are delighted by the calibre of this year's speakers. The series is an excellent opportunity for members of the business community in Bristol, as well as our own students, alumni and staff to hear directly from important figures in industry with a wealth of strategic experience and leadership skills at the highest level.”

The Distinguished Executive Address Series is free to attend and open to UWE students, staff, alumni and members of the business community. To register visit:
DEA series

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


Tel: 0117 32 82208


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