Samantha Hutchinson Reporter

Samantha writes on exports, Islamic finance and the business of doing business across borders. Before moving into journalism she worked in executive recruitment and public policy.

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CEO Q&A: Chris Whitehead

Published 12 July 2012 05:00, Updated 12 July 2012 05:35

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What was your first job?

I worked for the tax office in the UK. The best thing as a 17-year-old was working in an otherwise all female team; the worst was there was no scope to use your initiative.

Name a business leader you admire.

I spent many years in Western Australia and admire the success of Wesfarmers under both Michael Chaney and especially under Richard Goyder. This demonstrates great succession planning.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Never burn bridges. The more time you spend in business, the more your past re-visits you.

What is your greatest regret in business?

I wish I had travelled more and experienced other cultures, especially non-European, when I was younger. I would have been a more interesting, rounded person with a decent spell of travel earlier in life.

What skills or qualities do you wish you had?

I think we all can leverage our qualities in the right role. I would like to have played in a classic rock band.

What are the lows of your current job?

I over-commit constantly and take time from my family. Thankfully, they are very forgiving.

What are you reading?

My iPad, and currently on it is This is China: The first 5,000 years, by Haiwang Yuan.

Samantha Hutchinson