Pentland Brands Limited

Our careers series: building a career at Pentland

14 Feb 2018

Nick Drury

Building a career at Pentland: Nick Drury - Head of Design, Kickers, Boxfresh, Ellesse and KangaROOS 

What do you do at Pentland? 

As Head of Design I lead the design teams and creative direction for Kickers, Boxfresh, ellesse and KangaROOS. What’s been your career path to this role? I actually joined Pentland way back in 1997 and I was here for seven years, originally working on KangaROOS and Red or Dead. I started out as a Junior, became a Designer, and by 2002 I progressed to Sportswear Design Manager for Lacoste working across men’s and women’s. 

I left the business in 2004 and went and worked for another brand leading Design and Creative. Then in 2014 the opportunity came about to return to Pentland in the role of Head of Design at Boxfresh. 

Why did you want to return to Pentland? 

Apart from the opportunity to have a positive impact on Boxfresh, I wanted to come back to be part of a larger organisation and benefit from all the things that that brings with it: culture, environment and career development. 

What have been the career benefits for you working at Pentland? 

Being here has opened things up for me, like working across multiple brands, and learning from a broader group of people, which has been great. It’s been both interesting and dynamic, as well as challenging, requiring a different way of working to cover a diverse group. We’re currently working on a project for Ellesse where we worked through an accelerated process, pulling together resource and people from across the division. We have such talent and enthusiasm here, it makes things like that possible and productive. 

What do you enjoy most about working here? 

There’s plenty that’s unique about Pentland, but primarily it’s about the great people. Being part of a stable of brands with strong values that underpin it all brings the team together. In my experience, that's something that isn’t easy to find elsewhere. 

What advice would you give someone coming for a job interview at Pentland? 

My advice is simple: don’t just focus on the ‘what’, be passionate about the why and the how, too! 

Describe the Pentland culture in three words...

Challenging, supportive, motivating.

Building a career at Pentland: Charlotte Cox, Strategic Customers Director, Pentland Brands 

What do you do at Pentland? 

I lead Pentland’s global management of Strategic Customers, who are some key retail partners of ours. Essentially, my team of 29 focus on getting more Pentland products in front of consumers globally. 

What’s been your career path to this role? 

I started here straight out of university 20 years ago in a trade marketing role for Kickers. I left to get some more experience in commercial roles and different industries, but had loved my time working at Pentland, so when a great role came up at Speedo in Nottingham, I jumped at it. I was national account manager looking after some big accounts like John Lewis and JD Sports, and moved from there into a Business Development role across Southern Europe, which meant lots of travel and learning opportunities. 

After that I was Global Category Manager for Speedo – a new role which was a big learning curve for me. It led to the opportunity to create the Strategic Customers team for Speedo from scratch back in 2011. By 2015, Pentland wanted to roll that approach out across all our brands, so I’ve been in this role since then. 

What’s been the best career benefit to working at Pentland? 

The reason I’ve stayed this long is because Pentland’s provided me with the opportunity to develop and stretch myself. I’ve had great bosses who were tuned into my desire to continuously learn, so they understood what motivated me. What’s more, it’s been a great place to develop my skills toolkit so that I was ready to move into senior positions when the opportunity arose. 

What’s unique about working here? 

At Pentland, they get to know you on a personal level, and those deep relationships don’t always exist in many other companies. There’s not just a focus on the results you deliver, it’s about how you do it, too. The ‘what’ and the ‘how’ are equally important. That’s what’s unique. 

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

The opportunity to work across multiple brands. No day is the same. And the global nature of my role means one day I could be speaking about Ted Baker in the US and the next about Speedo in India. 

Describe the Pentland culture in three words... 

Team-focused, supportive, enriching

Building a career at Pentland : Marc Greene, Brand Director Licensed Brands, Kickers & Boxfresh 

What do you do at Pentland? 

I’m Brand Director for 5 brands in our Footwear Division; looking after everything from profit and loss accountability, defining and creating the brands’ strategies to deploying those plans across all our different functions. Each of our brands operates slightly differently, which means no two days are the same! For example, Kickers is a UK-only wholesale business, KangaROOS is a fully licenced global brand and Ellesse is one of the fastest growing sports-lifestyle brands and is hugely exciting in terms of scope. 

What’s been your career path through the company? 

It’s been a long one! I was actually originally running the gym here 16 years ago. I found the Pentland environment so exciting, I loved the energy and passion, and it felt like somewhere you could really grow your career. 

So from there I joined the first ever graduate scheme. It was an 18-month programme moving around the business and I learned a huge amount. From then my roles have taken me all over the world and across our brands, from working as the CEO’s Executive Assistant to running Mitre’s international business based in Hong Kong and many other roles. In January 2017 I moved into the Brand Director role. 

What have been the career benefits for you working at Pentland? 

The structure here allows for progression, and they look at your transferable skillset, not just what you’re doing right now. Being successful in one role opens doors into another. 

The business had trust in me, and I’ve been given some great opportunities, not only in the roles I’ve had but also in terms of travel, and working in other countries. I’ve met some amazing people and had mentors along the way who were a key part in helping me develop my path. 

What do you enjoy most about working here? 

Firstly, I love the people. No matter which of the global offices you visit, the welcome and the energy are exhilarating. And lots of the plans and propositions we’re taking to market for our brands are so exciting, we’ve got some great things coming up. I’d also say that Pentland isn’t just about work, it allows you to create a balance with your life, whether that’s getting into the gym or seeing your kids. 

Describe the Pentland culture in three words...

Welcoming, dynamic, challenging.

Building a career at Pentland: from comms team to ethical trade 

Stacey Pham, Licensee Corporate Responsibility Manager, Pentland Brands 

What do you do at Pentland? 

I ensure all the licencees who manufacture our products comply with our corporate responsibility (CR) standards, and work with them to build their understanding of ethical trade and maintaining good practice. Consumers nowadays are focused on where products come from, from an environmental and human rights perspective, and that’s something we take really seriously. 

What’s been your career path through the company? 

I joined the Communications team in London in 2015 as a Comms Executive. After 18 months I was offered an exciting opportunity to work in Hong Kong on regional comms across the Asia offices. I worked there for just under a year and felt like I wanted to do something different when I came back to the UK. Before joining Pentland I’d been at Unicef so I really wanted to join the CR team. My role was initially Comms and Engagement and it’s now evolved to cover Ethical Trade compliance too. 

How did you deal with the challenges of moving roles?

It was a big learning curve, but I had great support from the team to answer questions on all the areas I didn’t know about – there’s so much expertise to draw from. Pentland belongs to lots of membership organisations too, so I was able to go to lots of conferences. 

What have been the best benefits for you career-wise working at Pentland? 

There’s so much scope for internal movement. If you do well in one role, you’re able to move around. I don’t think that happens in many other companies - they took a chance on me, which I’m really grateful for. 

What do you enjoy most about what you do now? 

I love working with the people in our team. They know so much about their subject area – there’s never been anything they don’t know about! The breadth of the projects that CR are doing are so interesting and take you into the communities that manufacture our products, which is really exciting. 

Describe the Pentland culture in three words… 

Hardworking, family-oriented, fun.

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