Pentland CEO sparks discussion of global brand challenges

Pentland CEO Andy Rubin

Pentland CEO Andy Rubin

28 May 2014

Andy Rubin, CEO of Pentland Brands plc, brought global marketing challenges to life in his guest lecture Building brands and culture in an increasingly complex and global world’ at LUMS on 21 May.

Pentland owns many iconic sports, outdoor and fashion brands including Speedo, Canterbury and Berghaus. Drawing on these examples and more, he shared his experience and values with an audience of students, staff, business leaders and alumni who participated in the lively Q&A session. Pentland is a third-generation family business established in 1932, and one of the largest private businesses in the UK.

This insightful talk put the audience members in the position of CEO. Throughout his eye-opening and interactive presentation, he asked the audience to decide whether particular global trends and complexities represented opportunities or challenges.

Mr Rubin provided the audience with generational and cultural perspectives, and presented just a few of the opportunities and challenges the group faces in appealing to such wide and varied markets. He talked about ‘Digital Natives’ for people born after 1991 who have grown up in the digital age and the continuing need to evolve your marketing and communications approaches. A key message that was taken away by the audience was that of Lifelong learning. Rubin admitted that even as CEO he is still learning, in particular from ‘reverse mentors’ in his organisation. These are young people teaching him about the latest technology.

The presentation sparked lively debate amongst the audience, evoking lots of questions from the young entrepreneurs in the room, stimulating further discussions over refreshments afterwards.

Pentland has recently agreed to sponsor a research centre of excellence for sustainability at Lancaster University which will explore the frontiers of sustainability issues.