Back to all News

Visiting priority markets

An easing of lockdown restrictions has enabled Chief Executive Stefan Bomhard to visit some of our priority markets in Europe to find out more about our operations on the ground. As well as visiting stores to meet customers and consumers, Stefan is spending time with employees and hosting online town hall meetings.

Visits have so far included the UK, including our innovation centre Nerudia, Spain and Germany, with France, Italy and others to follow provided there is no re-introduction of lockdown measures.

Throughout each trip, local market COVID-19 restrictions have been strictly adhered to at all times, including the wearing of masks inside stores.

“It’s been great to get out to these markets to meet with employees and a diverse range of customers and consumers”, said Stefan.

Stefan has also used technology to meet with the teams in markets in our Americas and Africa, Asia, Australasia Divisions, as well as with Fontem Ventures in Amsterdam, where travel to those markets is not currently permitted. These virtual meetings have been facilitated by the accelerated rollout of an improved communication and collaboration platform in the business earlier this year.

In Manufacturing and Supply Chain, our own stringent health and safety measures prohibit any external visitors at the moment. When it is safe to lift these restrictions, Stefan will begin factory visits.

These fact-finding trips and employee engagement sessions are an important element of Stefan’s review of the business.

“Clearly, I would like to be meeting more people face-to-face but our investment in technology is enabling very effective engagement with employees”, said Stefan. “One thing that really strikes me, is their passion. Whether we meet in person or remotely, the passion people have for Imperial comes through and that is really energising.”

Stefan during a visit to a retailer in Bristol.