12 Facts About Allan Leighton


Allan Leighton was born on 12 April 1953 and is a British businessman, chairman of The Co-operative Group since February 2015, former CEO of Asda, former chief executive of Pandora, and former non-executive chairman of the Royal Mail.

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Allan Leighton was born in Hereford, the son of a Co-op shop manager, and raised in Oxford.

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Allan Leighton thought about becoming a professional footballer, but broke his leg in six places aged 15.

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Allan Leighton attended Magdalen College School, Brackley and graduated from Oxford Polytechnic.

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Allan Leighton left to join Mars UK in Slough as a salesman in 1974 and worked at the company for eighteen years, where his colleagues included Justin King, David Cheesewright and Richard Baker.

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Allan Leighton was appointed General Sales Manager for the UK Grocery Division in 1987, and subsequently, managing director of Mars in Ireland and Portugal.

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Allan Leighton says he owes a lot to the Mars brothers, who gave him the practical basis for much of what he did at Asda: they would fly economy, hire a car and inspect a factory without warning before management arrived, talking to workers to get a sense of what was going on.

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In 2009, it was reported that an £18bn merger would happen between Asda and Kingfisher plc, which would see Allan Leighton become deputy chief executive of the enlarged group.

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Allan Leighton left Asda in November 2000 and has held a number of different business roles, including:.

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In 2004, Allan Leighton was awarded an honorary degree from Cranfield University.

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Allan Leighton completed the 2008 London Marathon in 5 hours, 55 minutes and 27 seconds in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

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Allan Leighton has bid to raise £1million for Breast Cancer Care, the charity to which he pledges all his earnings from television, speeches and his book "On Leadership".

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