Director of the Year – Janet McCollum, chief executive, Moy Park

Janet McCollum

Every day during the Christmas holidays we are profiling the winners of the recent Director of the Year Awards. Today it’s Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park, who won the Large Company Director award

‘Be positive, be determined and be yourself’ – Janet McCollum, chief executive, Moy Park 

Janet McCollum took the helm at Moy Park, a free-range poultry producer employing 12,000 people at 13 sites across Europe, in January 2014. The company, based in Craigavon, Armagh, has grown every year since then. Investing £50m in innovation, capacity and capability, she has overseen a refinancing, the acquisition of O’Kane Poultry and a successful integration with Moy Park’s parent company. Her award was collected by a colleague on the day, but Director caught up with her later to find out what makes her tick.

Who has inspired you the most in business? My father was always my sounding board. I’ve also had some outstanding professional mentors, including my predecessor as CEO at Moy Park, Nigel Dunlop. His leadership skills are truly inspirational.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever taken? Think big. Be positive, be determined and be yourself.

What has been your biggest challenge? Without challenge there is no innovation. In 2007 our industry faced global economic and food crises – the perfect storm. But, as the saying goes, storms make trees take deeper roots.

Describe your leadership style. Democratic, open and honest.

How do you ensure good governance as your company grows? This goes beyond compliance. It’s about behaviour and doing the right thing. We’ve created an environment in which trust and integrity are embedded in the business. When you do this and it’s genuine, it is scalable in any business.

What’s the biggest leadership lesson you’ve learnt? If you don’t have a career path mapped out, don’t worry. What matters is attitude. If you pursue your ambitions with positivity, humility and determination, you’ll achieve them.

Janet McCollum is a member of IoD Northern Ireland

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Director magazine

Director is the magazine for business leaders. Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors.

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