Ocado Retail CEO Mel Smith Breaking the Mould
Two “powerhouse women”, New Zealander Mel Smith (pictured left), Ocado Retail CEO, and Jomas’ Associates founder and managing director, Briton Roni Savage, share the secrets of their success with Harper’s Bazaar executive editor, Frances Hedges.
Both Smith and Hedges are nominees for the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award 2022, a prize that celebrates female entrepreneurs.
Some of the most pertinent lessons that emerged from Hedges’ conversation with the pair covered everything from empathetic leadership to building a purposeful business.
“I’m Māori, so I’ve often felt I didn’t fit in,” Smith explains, “and for most of my career I thought I’d just got lucky. When the CEO role at Ocado came up, I’d just spent six months negotiating with the brand on behalf of M&S [where Smith was the strategy director] to buy half of the business for £750 million. I’d been the person in the room doing that, and yet I still needed the confidence of a man to tell me to go for the job.”
Original article by Frances Hedges, Harper’s Bazaar, July 14, 2022.
Photo by Damien Hockey.