Bookings are open for the fifth Leadership Symposium which takes place on 7th November 2019 at Rothamsted Research Centre Harpenden.

Following our fantastic line up of speakers in 2018 which included Dave Lewis, CEO of Tesco, Debbie Robinson, MD of Spar, Christine Tacon, Groceries Code Adjudicator and Piers Morgan, TV Broadcaster, the event returns.

Every year our themes include business issues, personal development and diversity.

The audience is unique, consisting of over 100 state school sixth form students from all over the country as well as senior management from consumer goods businesses.

All proceeds and ticket sales from the Leadership Symposium support two deserving charities; Working Options in Education and GroceryAid.

Working Options in Education’s purpose is to engage and inspire students to realise their full potential and consider employment opportunities in the food, drink and retail industry. GroceryAid help people who have worked in the Grocery Industry and fallen on hard times.


Reserve your place now to hear some of the most well respected and expert figures in our industry share what they’ve learned in business, have the opportunity to ask them your questions, hear panel discussions and connect with colleagues and future employees of industry.

If you have any questions regarding the event please contact the Event Team on +44 (0)1865 823895 or symposium@tmb-events.com



The Leadership Symposium is an unqiue and lively event attended by delegates from across food, drink and grocery industry including Commercial Managers and suppliers but is relevant to management at all levels and from all disciplines.

Join us to hear some of the most well respected figures in the industry share all they have learned in business, have the opportunity to ask them your questions, hear panel discussions and connect with colleagues and future employees of industry. The Symposium offers a great opportunity for teams to get together in a relaxed environment, there are always opportunities for personal development and learning; last year topics were wide ranging from the value and positive impact of "brutal objectivity in business" to "Positive thinking changing your path" and "How opportunities and choices impact our futures".

All tickets purchased support two charities; Working Options in Education and GroceryAid and enables students to join the event, share the experience with delegates from business and take with them a very positive view of working in our industry.


This year The Symposium will be bought to you once again from Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden.

Rothamsted Research Centre, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ

BY ROAD From the M1

Take J9 off the M1, follow the signs to Redbourn - Go past the Hertfordshire County Showground on your right - At the roundabout take the first exit (left) and follow the B487 until the next roundabout - At the roundabout take the first exit (left) onto the A1081, Rothamsted Research is signposted on your left


Harpenden is 28 mins by Train from London St Pancras (adjoined with London Kings Cross). Taxis are available on arrival at Harpenden station. Rothamsted Research is Approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the station, please follow directions below

PARKING - There is plenty of free parking at Rothamsted, please follow the signs for visitor’s car parking


Our Host Jeremy Thompson,
Acclaimed SkyNews Anchor-man

Jeremy Thompson is one of the UK’s most experienced and acclaimed TV newsmen. A journalist for over 50 years, he’s worked for the BBC, ITN and Sky News reporting from every corner of the world. He ran bureaux in Asia, Africa and America, covering many of the most important news stories of our times, including Tiananmen Square, the election of Nelson Mandela, 9/11, two Gulf Wars, the Genocide in Rwanda and the Balkan Conflict.

Sir Terry Leahy

Sir Terry Leahy, was appointed Chief Executive of Tesco PLC in March 1997 and retired from this position in March 2011. He received a Knighthood for services to food retailing in the 2002 New Year Honours and in the same year was made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool and is a member of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board. In March 2008 he was nominated by Retail Week as Retail Leader of the Year. From 2005 to 2010 he was voted as Britain’s Most Admired Leader by Management Today and in 2004 he was named European Businessman of the year by Fortune Magazine. In 2010 he received the Daily Telegraph’s Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business a Lifetime Achievement award from Director Magazine and was voted Business Person of the Year by the Sunday Times. Terry is now a part-time senior advisor to Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the US private equity firm and holds various Chair and Executive Committee memberships.

Steve Murrells
Chief Executive Officer, The Co-op

Steve Murrells became Co-op Group CEO in March 2017 having previously led the Co-op’s Food business since 2012. Steve now has overall responsibility for all the Co-op’s businesses - Food, Funeralcare, Insurance and Legal Services which now includes the recently acquired Simplify Probate, making the Co-op the leading provider of probate services in the UK. Steve has also overseen the acquisition of Nisa Retail Limited which now sees the Co-op wholesale to over 7,700 stores across the UK. The Co-op is the UK’s largest mutual business with more than 4.5 million members, 63,000 colleagues and a presence in every postal region of the country.   Previous to joining the Co-op Steve has held senior leadership roles in European and UK based food retail businesses, including Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Steve spent three years in manufacturing as CEO of the UK division of Danish Crown before joining the Co-op.

Kate Swann
CEO, SSP Group

Kate joined SSP as Chief Executive Officer in September 2013. Kate began her retail career with Tesco before working with some of the UK’s best-known companies, including Homepride Foods, Coca-Cola Schweppes and Dixons Stores Group. She then joined Homebase, ultimately in the role of managing director, and in 2000 was made managing director of Argos. Kate joined WH Smith as Chief Executive Officer in 2003. Kate joined SSP in 2013 floating it on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. SSP won the best new PLC in 2015 and its share price has well over trebled since flotation. She was ranked number 21 in the Financial Times’ ‘Europe’s Top 25 Women in Business’ in 2006, and in the same year Fortune listed her as one of the 50 most powerful women in business. In 2012 she received both the Daily Telegraph award for Business Leader of the Decade at the National Business Awards and the Institute for Turnaround Chairman’s Special Award for exceptional and extraordinary performance in the transformation of WH Smith. Kate graduated from the University of Bradford in 1986 with a BSc in Business Management, received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2007 and was appointed Chancellor in 2015. Kate also joined England Hockey as a Non Executive Director in 2016 and became a Non Executive Director of Independent Vetcare in 2017.

Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan, born in 1972, stood as the Conservative Candidate for Loughborough at the 2005 General Election and again in 2010, when she was first elected to Parliament to be Loughborough’s voice in Westminster. She has been married to Jonathan, an architect and Councillor for the Loughborough Outwoods Ward, since July 2000 and they have a son who was born in 2008. Nicky studied law at Oxford University. She worked as a solicitor specialising in Corporate Law advising a range of private and public companies from 1994 till her election in 2010. Nicky previously served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities (2014 - 16); Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2014); Minister for Women (2014); Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2013 - 14); an Assistant Government Whip (2012 - 13); and the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Cabinet Minister for Universities and Science (2010 - 12). Nicky was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Loughborough in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and, in July 2017, she was elected by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons as Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. She is the author of ‘Taught not Caught: Educating for Character in the 21st Century.’

Jeremy Darroch
Chief Executive Officer and President, Sky.

Jeremy joined Sky as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2004 and was appointed CEO in December 2007. Jeremy became Group CEO following the acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland in 2014. He has extensive experience in the retailing and fast-moving consumer goods sectors. Prior to joining Sky, Jeremy was Group Finance Director of DSG International plc (DSG), formerly Dixons Group plc and prior to DSG, he spent 12 years at Procter & Gamble in a variety of roles in the UK and Europe. Jeremy is a Non-Executive Director of Burberry Group plc and Chairman of Business in the Community, the Prince of Wales’ responsible business network. Jeremy is also an Ambassador for WWF.

Next speaker announcement coming soon



"There are three very clear reasons as to why we support the Leadership Symposium. Firstly, the dialogue and interaction on key leadership issues is second to none, just look at the speakers! Secondly, there is a real opportunity to learn from others. And ultimately, all the while we are supporting two great causes."

Leendert den Hollander, VP and General Manager for Coca-Cola European Partners

"With inspirational speakers, entrepreneurs and those at the top of their game, the event prompts you to have a rethink about getting the best out of people, whether you’re in a leadership position or not."

Anna Botting, Sky News