Food Commercial Director
Paul joined the Operating Board in May 2014 as Food Commercial Director having spent over 10 years at Sainsbury’s. He is responsible for Sainsbury’s Buying Teams, Commercial Operations, Supply Chain and Own Brand as well as Marketing teams and has previously held a variety of roles in commercial, strategy and finance, and as Business Unit Director for Grocery. Prior to Sainsbury’s, Paul was European Controller at Marks and Spencer Group plc and a Director at UBS Warburg.
Director of Marketing Communications
Originally from Northern Ireland Mark ‘cut his teeth’ in Marketing with Procter & Gamble. In a 9yr career there, he worked across Europe on brands like Pringles, Crest and Always. Mark then moved to Heineken UK where he managed the beer portfolio implementing a major turnaround plan on Foster’s including new packaging and hiring Adam&Eve to develop the award winning ‘Good Call’ advertising campaign. After a short stint at O2 Mark joined Sainsbury’s initially in charge of the brand communications output before assuming additional responsibility for loyalty, targeted communications and online acquisition/retention.
Group Chief Operating Officer, Aimia
David Johnston was appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Aimia's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and Executive Vice President of Aimia in January 2010. In his role as President and CEO for Aimia's EMEA region, he has full responsibility for driving the expansion of Aimia's businesses in Europe, Middle East and Africa including Nectar and Nectar Italia. David is also responsible for RMMEL, the operator of Air Miles Middle East, and for I&C.
Mr. Johnston joined Aimia from PepsiCo where he spent 13 years in Marketing and General Management. Most recently he ran PepsiCo's Quaker/Tropicana Business Unit in the UK, driving significant market share and profit growth across the portfolio. Prior to this role David has had extensive global experience in PepsiCo in Europe, Latin America and in PepsiCo's global headquarters in Purchase, New York.
He holds an Honours Degree in Business from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.
Chief Executive Officer
Susie joined Aimia in March 2010 to lead the UK engagement with Sainsbury’s within the Intelligent Shopper Solutions division, leading a team of consultants and analysts to create value for Sainsbury’s and their customers through the use of customer data. Susie grew the relationship with Sainsbury’s into new areas, including Mobile App communications and Non Food insights. In 2012, Susie also took on a global role within Aimia, alongside the Sainsbury’s position, to lead the definition of a Global Digital Strategy for Aimia, working closely with the Aimia Executive and senior stakeholders.
In 2014, Susie joined the Nectar business within Aimia to lead the Partnerships team, driving loyalty marketing initiatives with Sainsbury’s, Sainsbury’s Bank, Homebase, ebay, Expedia, Oxfam, First Group and Vitality Health, all key partners in the programme with a total of 19m customers.
Susie became CEO of the i2c business in September 2016. i2c is a joint venture formed between Aimia and Sainsbury's to deliver a one stop shop for FMCG suppliers to invest in shopper insights and shopper marketing services.
Prior to joining Aimia, Susie worked at dunnhumby, Diageo and Deloitte Consulting, specialising in retail and consumer goods marketing and strategy. Her experience includes working with the top 3 supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland. She has led engagements to improve and deliver clients’ performance, including ranging and merchandising, pricing and promotions, marketing effectiveness and consumer communication. Prior to starting her career, Susie studied Modern History at Oxford University.
Outside of work Susie is a keen sportswoman, both participating and watching, particularly running and cycling – although having 4 young children limits both of these sports to sprinting!
Chief Financial Officer
Hetal joined i2c as CFO after completing on the Netto Joint Venture deal for Sainsbury’s with Dansk Supermarked Group. Hetal has a broad finance background, having led a number of roles spanning over five years within Sainsbury’s including Strategy Finance, Head of Group Financial Planning and Property where he was responsible for the all financial aspects of major supermarket investments during the peak of Sainsbury’s space growth.
Prior to Sainsbury’s, Hetal held commercial finance roles at BT plc and Homebase working within Wholesale Broadband Products, Cost Transformation and Trading Finance.
After graduating from London School of Economics, Hetal started his career by training as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton within Audit where he worked primarily on retail and media clients and is now a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA).
Outside of work, Hetal spends much of his time keeping active with his family, enjoys watching and playing cricket as well as travelling abroad.
Director of Client Services and Planning
Amir has been with Insight to Communication (i2c) since our launch in early 2013. As Media Strategy and Delivery Director he leads the planning, design, strategy & execution of i2c’s integrated shopper marketing campaigns (CRM and traditional media) for over 300 clients.
During his career Amir has amassed over +14 years’ experience in all things Media, Shopper and Retail.
He spent 12 years at Sainsbury’s working across a number of divisions from Supply Chain & Logistics, Retail Operations and finally the entrepreneurial Business Development division. During his time in Business Development he worked in the team that scoped and developed the Shopper Marketing category within Sainsbury’s, and then played an integral role in launching the joint partnership between Sainsbury’s and Aimia to create i2c.
Amir holds a BA in Marketing.
Outside of work, Amir enjoys spending time with his young family and is a keen footballer playing for i2c’s 5-a-side team - i2FC! He is a big Charlie Chaplin fan with a soft spot for vintage watches…
Retail Consultancy Director
Sophie has been with Aimia since 2009 working across Nectar, Intelligent Shopper Solutions and i2C. She originally joined Aimia in 2009 in the Nectar Partnerships Team working directly with Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s Bank to manage their loyalty marketing initiatives. She then moved to the FMCG team prior to the formation of i2C where she worked within the Client Services team managing the shopper marketing strategies for a number of Sainsbury’s suppliers including Unilever, PepsiCo and L’Oreal. Sophie played an integral role in the launch of the Aimia and Sainsbury’s Joint Venture i2C, ensuring seamless supplier migration and adoption of new propositions. After the launch of i2C Sophie went on to focus specifically on the development of i2C’s Insight propositions, including the commercialisation of Sainsbury’s data, consultancy support services and the integration of market research data. Heading up a team of consultants to support the Non Food Grocery categories across both Sainsbury’s and suppliers in business focused Insight Solutions. She also spent time in Tokyo with the Aimia team sharing learnings about retail Insights and supplier commercialisation with team out there to support the Aeon partnership. In February this year Sophie moved into the Intelligent Shopper Solutions team to support this global Aimia Retail Consulting Team in a placement project working in the fuel sector to support the global expansion of Convenience Forecourt services across 22 different markets. In June 2017 Sophie moved back to i2C to become Director or Retail Consultancy, leading the strategic development and direction of i2C’s total insight function. Outside of work Sophie is a keen yoga fan, and enjoys sampling the London food scene with friends as much as possible.
Director of Product & Delivery
Steve has been within Aimia ISS since 2008 in a number of different roles that have seen him work in 3 different markets - the UK, Canada & Portugal. He originally joined the FMCG team prior to the formation of i2c, where he was known for his customer focused strategies for suppliers and Sainsbury’s.
Steve then moved to Canada in April 2012 to launch and lead a successful FMCG business with Sobeys, commercialising their customer data and providing support services. Here he was responsible for managing the client service and consultancy team for 40+ CPGs.
In January 2015, Steve moved on to Portugal where he then launched, led and developed our then new retail engagement with Sonae. Overseeing a team of consultants and analysts, which in 2017 expanded to include FMCG commercialisation, and led to renewing the engagement for a second term.
In July 2017, Steve became Director of Product & Delivery for i2C. i2c is a joint venture formed between Aimia and Sainsbury's to deliver a one stop shop for FMCG suppliers to invest in shopper insights and shopper marketing services.
Prior to joining Aimia, Steve worked at dunnhumby and Kellogg’s, specialising in retail and data led customer marketing. Before starting his career, Steve studied Social Sciences at Loughborough University. Outside of work Steve is keen sports enthusiast, both active and passive, particularly football and cricket.
Maria joined Aimia in 2012 and serves the i2c management team as the Managing Director of i2c Research. The i2c Research team have a unique capability to highly target key customer groups to gauge their opinions on all aspects of products and brands. Maria has over 17 years’ experience in market research across agency and client side roles. Prior to joining Aimia Maria was a senior member of the Tesco marketing team, firstly as Head of International Insight managing 12 markets then Head of UK Insight. Prior to that she was Head of Customer and Marketing Research at B&Q, and started out her career agency side servicing clients across a number of sectors. Throughout her career Maria has been a pioneer of new and leading-edge insight techniques, ensuring insight driven thought leadership. She has played key roles in strategic planning, change management and operational analysis. Outside of work, Maria enjoys spending time with her young family and socialising with friends, she also loves reading and learning something new.
Melanie joined i2c as Agency Director in April 2015, to head up our Agency & Brand Services; a new division harnessing our strategic customer insight capability to consult on brand and integrated strategies. Melanie is a true multichannel marketer with 18 years in agencies handling client business across a full spectrum of industries including retail, FMCG, financial services, travel & leisure, automotive, telecoms, pharmaceutical and charity. Prior to i2c, Melanie was at dunnhumby as Head of Account Management and Strategic Planning, leading a team facing into Tesco across multiple business units, with a remit covering extended brand & digital strategy, annual planning, CRM & campaign planning. Before that, Melanie spent several years in integrated and creative agencies, including Kitcatt Nohr, Engine, Meteorite and Ogilvy; managing clients like John Lewis, NS&I, Aviva, Lexus, Barclays iShares, Whitbread, Unilever, Kimberly Clark to name a few. Melanie balances energetic family time with her young son and a keen interest in fine wine and fine dining; she will happily give recommendations for any informal or formal occasion if you send her a brief!
Client Group Director - Food
Laura joined i2c as Client Group Director in April 2017, responsible for the Food Business Unit, which spans Impulse, Canned and Packaged categories. Laura and her team get to work with some of the UK’s largest suppliers to win with the customer which will generate positive results for both the suppliers and Sainsbury’s.
Prior to joining i2c, Laura spent 15 months at the Post Office where she was responsible for bringing the commercial customer lens onto analytics and insight delivered through the newly created Analytics Centre of Excellence, and to align with Post Office’s aim of being Better for Customers. Prior to that Laura was recruited by the well-known “Dunn” and “Humby” as Commercial Director into their current venture bringing data insights, solutions and digital expertise to the Arts and Culture industries.
This was in stark contrast to the pace seen in the FMCG world in her 9 years of experience at dunnhumby, working with Tesco in trialling a corporate category strategy program and leading the engagement with key FMCG suppliers. Key to her time at dunnhumby was developing best in class loyalty, multi-channel and customer led insights.
Outside of work, and when she can give the kids a slip, Laura is a keen tennis player and doesn’t believe it is too late to get onto “the tour…”.
Client Group Director - Non Food
Liz joined i2C as Client Director across Impulse and BWS in 2015 and was appointed Client Group Director for non-food in December 2016. Prior to joining i2C, Liz spent many years working for Sainsbury’s at their Content Agency, Seven, where she was responsible for the commercialisation of Sainsbury’s Magazine, Live Well for Less and Sainsbury’s content websites. Liz has over 15 years client sales and media experience having worked at media owners such as Hearst, EMAP and Future Publishing working across consumer print and digital in FMCG sales and account management. Outside of work, Liz is kept busy by her young family and will often be found at the obligatory soft play! When she manages to escape the ball pit, Liz is a keen swimmer and enjoys relaxing with friends over a Gin or two.
Client Group Director - Core
Ben joined i2c as Business Unit Director in June 2014, responsible for the Core Business Unit. This Business Unit has responsibility for working with some of the UK’s largest manufacturers as well as developing and winning new business and developing relationships across Sainsbury’s supplier base.
Prior to joining i2c Ben has over 15 years experience, primarily with Pepsico UK and The Walt Disney Company, in a variety Sales and Account Management roles. More recently he worked within eCommerce and online grocery, responsible for developing and growing mySupermarket.com’s B2B proposition and business.
Ben holds a BA Joint Hons in Geography and Economics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Outside of work, when time allows from looking after a young family, Ben enjoys a variety of sports from watching and playing golf and football as well as keeping fit by running and swimming. He also enjoys cinema/film as well as dining out.