Starting as an officer cadet in the British Army Intelligence Corps, I then took a secondment to the Royal Hong Kong Police (RHKP) where I served as a platoon commander in frontline operational units for four years and received a Governor's Commendation for my work as a tactical unit team commander whilst supporting his protection detail. Whilst in Hong Kong, I became fluent in Cantonese. After leaving the RHKP in 1996, I started my commercial career as an Area Manager for Aldi in the UK before moving back to China in various retail operations roles for A.S Watson. This is where I learnt to speak Mandarin.
I then worked for Boots Retail International in various Business Development roles in the APAC region before doing my MBA in M&A at the Edinburgh Business School. This lead directly to a role in Specsavers International as head of M&A for the founder, Doug Perkins, where I managed the whole process of research, acquisition & integration for Tva Bla and Blic (both Swedish opticians) in the Specsavers Group.
From 2005 to 2009 I worked as the APAC Retail Leader for adidas. During my tenure we designed and established the regional retail team/centre of excellence
and operating model as well as opening several major brand flagships such as Shibuya, Tokyo and Myungdong, Seoul.
From 2009-11, I established the APAC business for True Religion Brand Jeans, setting up direct subs in South Korea, China and Japan. From 2011-2018, I was a portfolio Managing Director (or "coalition" in VF terminology) for VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) in APAC. During my tenure, I managed 7 For all Mankind, Nautica, Kipling (Bags), Eastpak, Napapijri, Timberland, as well spending time as Group DTC VP establishing a DTC & Franchisee centre of excellence. Timberland was a full integration and turnaround project post-acquisition.
In late 2018, I was asked to be part of the founder group of a new entity to spin-off Lee Jeans & Wrangler Jeans from VF Corp. We founded Kontoor Brands Incorporated and listed in May, 2019 (NYSE:KTB). As well as being part of the global leadership team, my specific operational responsibility is to manage the APAC businesses. During my tenure we:
Returned China to growth and became the #1 denim brand in China
Launched Wrangler in China successfully
Transitioned the loss-making Indian subsidiary to a licensee model where both KTB and the licensee are profitable
Launched Lee in Korea building a business of USD$20m revenue within one year via the licensee model
As well as my BA in Oriental Studies and MBA in M&A I have professional qualifications from INSEAD in Executive Leadership as well as a diploma in Private Markets Investments from SAID Business School, Oxford. I am currently a postgraduate research student in East Asian Studies at Edinburgh University.