Keith Weed is an independent director, trustee and advisor of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a Board Director of WPP, the President of the Advertising Association, Board member of Business in the Community, Advisory Board member of McLaren F1, President of the History of Advertising Trust, and Board member of Grange Park Opera. He is also an angel investor in several start-ups and early stage companies.
Keith retired in May 2019 from a long career at Unilever, where he was most recently a member of the Executive Committee for 9 years, responsible for Marketing, Sustainability and Communications. During this period, the business consistently grew top and bottom line ahead of its markets, delivering 290% total shareholder return. Unilever PLC is a $55 billion business operating in 190 countries.
Keith led the creation of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and championed new ways of integrating sustainability into businesses as a key driver of growth, while reducing their environmental footprint and increasing their positive social impact. Most notably, Keith directed significant advances in digital and influencer marketing and technologies within Unilever and the industry. He championed the 3Vs approach – Viewability, Verification and Value – across the industry.
Keith is committed to tackling stereotypes – gender and other – in advertising through Unilever’s #Unstereotype initiative, and is the architect behind the #Unstereotype Alliance co-created with UN Women, which brings together 35 companies that are committed to remove the portrayal of unhelpful stereotypes from their advertising. He has also championed the development of brands with purpose in Unilever and beyond.
Recent recognition includes Forbes ‘World’s Most Influential CMO’ in 2017, 2018 and 2019, ‘Global Marketer of the Year 2017’ by the World Federation of Advertisers, The Drum’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, Marketing Dive’s Executive of the Year 2018, an inductee into the Marketing Hall of Fame and recognised as a Champion of Women in Business by the Financial Times’ HERoes.
He is a Fellow of The Marketing Society and, as an engineering graduate, a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
Fad or future?
• The world and business environment has never seen so much change and turmoil, with more to come
• What is the role of business in social and environmental sustainability?
• Can business and brand purpose make a positive impact on society?
• Can business and brand purpose be a competitive differentiator or is it just green wash?
• What insights and learnings can be leveraged from those who have created purpose as a business driver?