CEO Circle – Alannah Weston
Chairman of Selfridges Group and Sustainability Advocate
Weston’s mission as of Chairman of Selfridges Group, a position held since 2019, is to empower talented people to deliver extraordinary customer experience within human and planetary boundaries. Selfridges Group is a collection of international department stores that exist to imagine and create a sustainable future for their people and customers. With 25 stores worldwide across 5 brands, Selfridges Group includes Arnotts and Brown Thomas in Ireland, De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands, Holt Renfrew in Canada, and Selfridges in the UK.
Alannah became Creative Director of Selfridges in 2003 when her father W. Galen Weston bought the business and played a key role in its transformation into a leading luxury department store with 4 stores in the UK and a digital platform delivering to 130 countries. She is credited with reinvigorating the brand through a focus on creativity and sustainability. During her tenure, the department store was voted World’s Best Department Store four times (GDSS 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018). Alannah spearheaded Selfridges sustainability strategy with the launch of Project Ocean in 2011, a complete store takeover aimed at raising awareness of the issue of overfishing and ocean pollution.
Passionate about people and planet, Alannah has brought a multi-stakeholder approach to her chairmanship, working with the leadership team to embed sustainability and diversity in their business plans. Very much a futurist, Alannah played a pivotal role in the conception of Project Earth in 2020, marking a new chapter in Selfridges’ history – the start of a challenging yet vital journey to change the way we shop. The initiative builds on the industry-leading steps Selfridges has taken over the last 10 years to place sustainability at the heart of the business by committing to reinventing materials, models and mindsets underpinned by the Company’s commitment to Science Based Targets and to achieve Net-zero carbon by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.
Alannah believes that sustainability will be the next big disruptor of her industry. In 2020 Alannah began to record her own podcast, How to Lead a Sustainable Business, interviewing thought leaders and pioneers who are actively embracing the responsibility and the opportunity to innovate and transform the way they do business for the sake of people and planet.