Becoming Managing Director of Iceland Foods

In this episode, Richard talks about his hopes for the future of Iceland Foods, the importance of sustainability and how his career journey led him to become Managing Director of Iceland Foods.

Key Takeaways

  • Importance of sustainability
  • Importance of having a holistic understanding of the business
  • Respect is earned
  • Most important characteristic of a leader is kindness
  • Sustainability should be practised at home and in business

Who is Richard Walker?

Richard is Managing Director at Iceland Foods, the company established by his mother and father in 1970. Iceland Foods has mostly recently become known for driving forward the sustainability agenda for UK and global retailers – successfully removing palm oil from all our food and pledging to remove 13,000 tons of plastic from our own-brand products by 2023.

He is a proud Trustee of the ‘Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation’, and the conservation groups ‘Fauna & Flora International’ and ‘Surfers Against Sewage’. Richard also sits on DEFRA’s ‘Council for Sustainable Business’ and Greenpeace’s ‘Ocean Advisory Board’.

In 2019 he was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Richard worked full-time as a shelf-stacker and cashier in London for a year, before becoming a store manager and then moving to Iceland’s head office at Deeside, Flintshire, in 2013. After various head office roles, he became Managing Director of The Food Warehouse, Iceland’s sister chain now with over 130 larger format stores, in 2015.

He was promoted to his current role as Managing Director of the Iceland Foods Group in August 2018, overseeing almost 1,000 stores, 25,000 staff and 5 million customers per week. Outside family and business, Richard's greatest passions are trail running, skiing, surfing and climbing all over the world.