Speaker Profiles

ACADEMY SPEAKERS 2017

Amee Chande

Managing Director, Global Strategy & Operations at Alibaba Group            
(THE LARGEST RETAILER IN THE WORLD)

Amee Chande was the one of the first international leaders recruited to join Alibaba Group, (THE LARGEST RETAILER IN THE WORLD) in September 2015. As part of the international leadership team, she is shaping the globalisation strategy of Alibaba
Prior to her current global strategy role for Alibaba Group, Ms. Chande built the UK office as the hub for Alibaba Group in Europe, leveraging her global leadership experience with large retailers and established brands to and bring the best of the Alibaba ecosystem to businesses and consumers in the region.

Prior to joining Alibaba, Ms. Chande served as Managing Director of NutriCentre, a health and wellness subsidiary of Tesco, from 2013 to 2015. She previously spent four years with Staples, most recently as Managing Director of the UK business. Before joining Staples, Ms. Chande held a number of senior roles at Wal-Mart where she was the company’s youngest officer. She began her career as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company where she spent eight years working with a broad range of retail and consumer goods companies. 

Ms. Chande is active in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, where she serves as a global Board member and chairs the Fund Development Committee. She also serves on the London Board of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Ms. Chande earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

John Browett

Chief Executive at Dunelm Group plc AssetAltText

John joined Dunelm Group plc, the leading specialist out-of-town homewares retailer, in July 2015 as Chief Executive Designate and officially took over the role of Chief Executive in January 2016. Previous to joining Dunelm John was CEO at the fashion retailer Monsoon Accessorize Ltd and before that Dixons Retail, with a stint in between at Apple Inc. as Head of Retail. During his time at Dixons, he was responsible for major improvements in customer service, helping the business to shape its post-internet retail offering.
Prior to this he worked at Tesco plc in a number of roles, including CEO of Tesco.com and a group operational role where he focused on improving service and productivity. John is also a Non- Executive Director of Octopus Investments and has a Degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA degree from Wharton Business School. 

Helen Dickinson

Chief Executive of British Retail ConsortiumAssetAltText

Helen leads the BRC team and is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the BRC. She brings a wealth of experience working with retailers for over 20 years. Helen took her role at the BRC on 1 January 2013 and is very privileged to have the opportunity of driving the BRC's mission to make a positive difference to the retail industry through advancing vibrant and consumer focused retail and helping to shape the future of the industry, working our members and our diverse stakeholders.

Helen was previously Head of Retail at KPMG, where she had overall responsibility for leading and developing KPMG's retail practice in the UK. Over her KPMG career, Helen worked with retailers across all sectors and led the relationships and the audits for many clients since becoming a partner in 2002.

Helen is also Chairman for Working Chance, a great charity with a fresh approach to helping women offenders find rewarding, quality employment and has a passion for the development of the retail industry's female talent and is a Judge of the Everywoman Retail Ambassadors Programme.

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ACADEMY SPEAKERS 2016

Wilf Walsh

CEO of Carpet RightAssetAltText

Wilf has been Chief Executive of Carpetright plc since July 2014. He has held senior positions in various roles in the Betting and Gaming industry most recently as Chairman of Fortuna Entertainment Group NV a business he led to a successful IPO in 2010. He was Managing Director of bookmakers Coral from 2000 to 2008 and was part of the team that took the business through two private equity transactions.

Prior to that he was Managing Director of HMV Germany and Operations Director for the UK. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Gala Coral Group. Wilf graduated in Law from Leeds University and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Beth Butterwick

Managing Director of Bon Marche

Appointed to the Group in 2011, Beth led the turnaround of the new business strategy. This enabled the sale and successful acquisition of Bonmarche to Sun Europe, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc, in January 2012. With over 25 years’ retail experience, Beth started her career as a graduate trainee with Marks & Spencer plc where she progressed to Head of Buying for the Accessories Group.

She joined Gap Inc as part of the Senior Management Team responsible for the European expansion. Following this, she was appointed as Commercial Director at MS Mode BV, based in the Netherlands, where she played a key part in its performance improvement, prior to its acquisition by Excellent Retail Brands Group in January 2011. She will be transitioning to Karen Millen as their new CEO this year.

View previous Academy speakers here.

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