Guest Speaker: Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs


On Friday 1 March our Business and Economics students were visited by former Itchen student Roger Whiteside who is now the Chief Executive of bakery chain Greggs.

Roger studied at Itchen 45 years ago, before moving onto the University of Leeds, where he achieved a first-class honours degree. He then started at Marks and Spencer after university, before working his way up to being in charge of half the business, running the food section.

It was then that he left Marks and Spencer, founding Ocado at the beginning of the digital revolution in the early 00s. After a few more changes over the years, Roger was made CEO of Greggs in 2013 and he has since changed the way the business works to keep it growing.

Roger impressed on our students that the world is changing so fast, as a business you must change with it in order to survive. With Greggs, Roger has done this by focusing the business more on Food On-The-Go and getting involved with things the customers care about, such as charity work and healthier food choices, keeping the Greggs ethos alive in the modern day.

“You can start at Itchen Sixth Form College without any idea of what you want to do and end up the CEO of Greggs.” The sky really is the limit for our students.

Thank you so much to Roger for coming in and talking to our students, who we’re sure all popped out to Greggs for lunch afterwards after lots of talk about sausage rolls!