Ros Rivaz began her working life at ExxonMobil and Tate & Lyle before joining chemical giant ICI as the SVP of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain. She then moved to international drinks company Diageo as Global Supply Chain MD. After a period running Operations and Supply Chain for Premier Foods, Ros’s last stop was as COO at Smith & Nephew before taking on a range of non-executive positions and chairs.
With real life examples, such as Smith & Nephew’s work in developing patient-specific replacement joints, Ros speaks about the implications new technologies can have throughout the business from design and engineering to sales and supply chain, and not just in the expected areas. She looks at the knock-on effects of apparently unconnected changes in technology, policy, society and the marketplace, risk and the strategic reaction to it, and what it takes to be a successful leader.
Formulating a strategy in a risky world is no easy feat. For the food industry, the advent of 'healthy living' has placed companies such a Hovis and Diagio at unprecedented risk - GM, fat, sugar, tampering, alcohol abuse - while oil and gas company ExxonMobil has been subject to oil-price fluctuations, cyber-attacks and civil unrest.
Ros’s approach is a practical one: she argues that a flexible approach is important to create opportunity out of risk.
She also discusses what it means to be a CEO today. Should they sit at the top of a hierarchy or at the centre of a network? How can CEOs build and leverage tools such as internal networking, distributed decision-making, and effective delegation?
Ros also talks about diversity in leadership, educating on how companies can achieve, and then draw the best out of, diversity at the top level.
In 2015, Ros was conferred an Honorary Doctorate from Southampton University.
Passionate about her subject, Ros delivers clear, strong messages that resonate with her audience.