Michelle McEttrick is something of a specialist in reigniting the spark for some of the UK’s biggest – and often most maligned – brands. In her previous role as managing director of group brand and marketing at Barclays, she launched ‘Barclays Values’ to help restore faith in the banking sector. At ad agency BBH, she helped to reinvigorate the British Airways brand, and she is now looking to turnaround Tesco’s fortunes. She admits her biggest challenge is “learning in public” at the supermarket. “We are trying new things and not all of them will work; the brand is in a constant spotlight,” she adds. She says the best piece of advice she received came at the beginning of her career when she was looking for her first job. “I was told to send letters to CEOs asking for 15 minutes of their time so I could learn about their industry from their experience. And whatever I did, no CV.” Even though the CEO would not have time for a meeting, they would pass her letter on to someone who did so she would be guaranteed a meeting.
Proudest moment: “I’m proudest of the people I’ve had the good fortune to manage and develop. Over the past 25 years, whenever I hear of one of them moving into a big, career-defining role I am incredibly proud.”