Celia Pronto is a strategic leader with extensive brand/marketing strategy, retail and brand development experience in travel/hospitality, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), services, automotive, technology and e-commerce. She joined Ford Retail in March 2012 as the Group Marketing and E-commerce Director, and is a member of the Board.
Innovating in field of work:
• Despite being born in a country which shortly after her birth experienced a 19-year civil war that subsequently saw her family lose everything, her career has seen her moving continents, working in industries as diverse as consumer product goods (CPG), FMCG, hospitality, travel technology and automotive in small start-up businesses as well as large global multinationals.
• Since joining Ford Retail in March 2012, she has led the development of an organization-wide positioning strategy and brand pillars for the business, supported by a centralized marketing team working across all areas of the group; including new and used cars, new and used commercial vehicles, fleet and SME, servicing, MOT, body shop and parts.
• The net impact of the changes introduced has seen a YTD increase in leads of 28.9%, YTD PBT 19.6% above budget, and YTD growth in online sales of 10.3%.
• Celia is founding member of the London Chapter of the 2% club, which actively drives forward the issue of the under-representation of women at the top of corporate UK.
• As a result of her work, the percentage of females on the Ford Retail board has doubled to 20%, while the number of females in the leadership team just below the board has increased from 9% to 23%.
• She is also the board sponsor of the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and agenda.
• She actively mentors a number of young graduates and mid-level managers, and provides mentoring and marketing support in the charitable sector.
• She is also an active international public speaker, advocating the need for balanced teams to drive retail success; and was a finalist in The Best Female Leader in Marketing awards in 2013.
Reinvention / Risk / Momentum:
• Celia’s decision to move continents to further her career enabled her to bring a fresh perspective to not only her work, but also the charities and young women she mentors.
• At the core of all she does is a desire to confront any lack of confidence by proving to herself that it can be done, and using this to inspire others to do the same. Examples of this including switching career paths from accountancy to marketing and e-commerce, working in businesses as diverse as VC funded start-ups as well as large global multinationals, and in sectors as broad as CPG/FMCG, leisure, hospitality, technology and automotive.
“What defines me is an ambition to disrupt business and status quo, most recently in the automotive sector”