THIS MONTH WE SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON RUPERT TURNER - MD, UK MARKETING – WHO SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION, THE POWER OF RELATIONSHIPS AND HIS LOVE FOR A FILM WHICH IS ‘PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY’.
Tell us about your career, to date, with Phillips 66 Limited.
Today is my 34th anniversary with the company! I studied history and then did a post-grad in Marketing at Kingston - and on the back of that applied to Conoco and got the job as a marketing analyst before moving into the commercial group, where I traded products and crude oil before returning to my first love - marketing - and taking a retail role in Dublin. Stints in Belgium (the steepest of learning curves…), Warwick and the US (short but sweet) were followed by seven years doing the same role I’m doing now. We then upped sticks to Houston where I joined the procurement team before enjoying a couple of US Marketing roles and then returning to London and once again picking up the UK Marketing MD mantel at Phillips 66 Limited. Life really has come full-circle!
You joined the UK team in November 2022 as MD, UK Marketing. What drew you to the role and what are your ambitions for the business moving forward?
I felt very welcomed returning to the role - and some of the relationships I have with customers and employees are 30 years old! Interacting with the team and our customers is a big part of what I love about this job, I really enjoy the people side. And from a business perspective, I think we have a pretty robust strategy and we remain ambitious for the business moving forward. There are, as with all businesses, challenges – but with a fully integrated UK strategy, well defined offer and clear and open channels of communication amongst all sectors of the business we will continue to flex and grow. I also like that this job requires me to wear a number of different hats to satisfy the depth and breadth of the role - wholesale, company-owned, retail dealer, supply, customer support etc. All different, all with different challenges. I’m also part of the UK Leadership team and while we get together to shape and ensure an integrated strategy, a lot of what we do/discuss has an important people/culture element - and I love that.
It’s a time of transition for the industry - what do you see as the primary challenges in 2023?
Supply chains are challenged and are likely to remain so; given the ongoing impact to industry from Covid and the war in Ukraine. Overlay that with increasing competition for what is a declining demand trend for traditional hydrocarbon fuels. But there are industry transitions and challenges that are also opportunities. Emerging Energies are a big part of our future – and investing in EV, hydrogen and lower carbon fuels etc. will, we believe, give us a more complete, future-proof package, strengthen the brand and enable us to attract new customers.
We are seeing a trend of dealerships moving over to JET - why do you think that is?
It’s about us focusing on doing the basics better than the competition. So what does that mean? It’s about good communication, trusted relationships and consistency. Our wholesale customer survey in 2022 was glowing, the results from the dealer conference we held last year were excellent. We also believe we have first-mover advantage in terms of what we are doing in emerging energy and that will continue to serve us well. And we need to continue to focus on relationships and transparency, alignment, involvement etc. So important. And then there’s the JET brand with the mindset, agility and energy of a smaller enterprise - a big personality that stands out. But ultimately, communication is key - and communication is part of this company’s DNA. It’s our advantage and we need to make sure it remains at the heart of who we are and how we behave.
Tell us something about you we don’t know
Mary Poppins is my favourite film.
Give us three attributes to sum up/fulfil your role
Clarity, inspiration and transparency.