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Executive Team and Contacts

In this section we are pleased to introduce you to a few of our key people.

Steve Marley CEO & Managing Director, Group

Steve Marley

Ashwood Executive Search International (ESI) was founded by Steve Marley in 1986. Steve has a wealth of FMCG experience and still operates as a hands-on business manager. Steve has successfully placed key people with many key clients across Europe, the Americas and MEA, while building and developing the Ashwood business and brand.

Steve's philosophy is simple but highly effective - to understand both the candidate's needs and the client's business, before bringing the two together using a methodology that ensures mutual and lasting success.

Ros Banks Divisional Director

Ros Banks

Having established a successful track record as a search & selection specialist, Ros joined Ashwood Executive Search & Selection International in 2011. Ros has rapidly progressed to the key role of Divisional Director, leading a team of UK and internationally based consultants and researchers. Ros has overall responsibility for our rapidly expanding Corporate Division.

Her ability to think and act clearly, quickly and creatively, allied to excellent project and people management style ensures that Ros consistently delivers successfully for both her clients and candidates.

Kristi Nickerson Non-Executive Director – North America & LatAm

David Robert Duncan

Kristi began her Executive Search career in 1995 with Johnson Smith & Knisely (JSK) as a Researcher, moving quickly through the ranks to Head of Training and Database Administration.  Kristi joined Ashwood ESI in 2010 as Director of Research & Administration focusing on candidate development, and in 2013 became Director, Americas, overseeing client development and full life cycle recruitment in New York.   Kristi’s detailed and personal approach to recruitment has led to continued success and key placements with our clients, as well as meaningful and long standing relationships with candidates. In mid 2015, Kristi’s responsibilities changed to that of Non Executive Director; in this role she will utilize her market knowledge and networks to primarily assist our North American and LatAm clients.

David Duncan Non-Executive Consultant - R&D Innovation and Group Strategy

David Robert Duncan

David’s background is in Consumer and Industrial products Research and Development particularly in the Home, Detergent and Personal Care sectors. He has more than 35 years management experience gained working for Procter & Gamble, S C Johnson Wax and Unilever. Additionally he has held a number of industry board & government advisory positions in Europe, the USA and Singapore. Prior to retiring from Unilever in 2009 David was Senior Vice President R&D Home and Personal Care Unilever, a worldwide executive role, managing 3500 R&D personnel in 23 locations across the globe.

Most recently on a consultancy basis he has led projects for companies on innovation management, organisational design, sustainability, technology commercialisation and professional marketing.
David holds a 1st class honours degree in Chemistry, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Chartered Chemist, and a Chartered Scientist.

David Webb Non- Executive

David Webb

David’s background is in the Personal Care industry, particularly the beauty sector. He has worked across a broad spectrum of areas within the sector, including Hair Care, Skin Care, Cosmetics, Fragrances, and most recently with Hair Appliances.

David has over 37 years General Management experience in the industry and has worked for multi-national companies such as Revlon, L’Oreal and Alberto Culver. Before retiring from corporate life in 2014 David was the International Managing Director for GHD, the iconic British hair care brand. Prior to that David was the Group Vice President for Alberto Culver responsible for the EMEA and APAC regions.
Most recently David has been working on a consultancy basis with Australian, South African and UK companies, helping them with their international expansion plans and channel strategy.

Ian Deste Non-Executive

Ian Deste

Following spells within both the tobacco and Take-Home beer industries where Ian held various Sales and Trade-Marketing positions, he subsequently spent twenty one years with Coca –Cola. During his time with Coca-Cola Ian held various director-level roles in Sales, Marketing and Public Affairs /Communications, culminating in him leading the UK Sales and Marketing functions from 2005 to 2011.

In 2011 Ian joined Premier Foods PLC, one of the largest UK food manufacturers as Commercial Director. Ian was a key member of a new management team appointed by the board to ‘turn around’ what was at the time a failing company in most respects. As Commercial Director Ian was charged with revitalising the company’s Brands & Customer Relationships, at the same time building a new commercial team and developing and embedding a culture and behaviours appropriate to the ambition developed for the company as a whole. After successfully delivering the first phase of the ‘turnaround’ at Premier Ian left the company in February 2015. Following his time at Premier Foods, in July 2015 Ian undertook an assignment within Burtons Biscuits which ended at the end of the year. At this time, as well as working with Ashwood, Ian is exploring other exciting projects and open to further career opportunities.

"Throughout the past 25 years I have worked with Ashwood Associates to build industry-leading commercial capability, firstly within Coca-Cola where the brand name itself might be considered to attract the best talent, but more recently within a distressed organisation offering at times a far less certain future to prospective job candidates. In both instances Ashwood was my partner of choice because they understood my business and what I was trying to achieve in terms of building teams and a supporting talent pool. As a non-executive I am looking forward to being able to assist the Ashwood management team in helping other Commercial Leaders build the people capability they require to deliver their goals".

Keith Grime Non-Executive Consultant – R&D Management and Innovation

Keith Grime

We are delighted that Keith has accepted a role as Executive Consultant with Ashwood ESI.
As Vice President with Procter & Gamble, Keith led global product and technology development programs for detergents, fabric conditioners and additive products during a highly successful and lengthy career at the forefront of Research & Development. This led to leadership roles in many of the technology development alliances with major chemical corporations. Keith retired as Vice President of Corporate R&D with responsibilities for long term product technology development for the corporation.

Keith holds a Ph.D in chemistry, and along with his 30 years experience in R&D management, he is also an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, where he teaches the “Management of Product Innovation” in an executive Masters program. Keith’s background highlights his reputation as a thought leader who has driven innovation across many R&D disciplines and in many territories, leading teams to deliver expert solutions and business growth.

As an Executive Consultant with Ashwood ESI, Keith provides immense knowledge and expertise that feeds into our own client solutions.

Board Level Appointments

To discuss senior executive level and C suite roles, please contact:

Steve Marley
CEO & Managing Director, UK & EMEA

Senior Appointments and General Enquiries

To discuss Senior Appointments in Marketing, Commercial, Operations (including Logistics and Human Resources), please contact:

Ros Banks
Associate Director and Managing Director, Americas

Technical + R&D

Our Technical consultants provide a specialist, executive level focus on R&D, Technical Innovation, Science and Quality assignments. In the first instance email:

Steve Marley
CEO & Managing Director, UK & EMEA

General Enquiries:

For general enquiries please contact the relevant Ashwood ESI office.

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