Alison Jane Cooper (born 31 March 1966) is a British businesswoman who is currently the chief executive of Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest tobacco company as measured by market share.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
Early life Cooper grew up in Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, in a family where “money was stretched”. She was educated at the nearby Tiffin Girls’ School, an all girls grammar school, and gained a degree in mathematics and statistics from Bristol University. After she gained her degree she spent a gap year teaching in Kenya on a voluntary basis.
Career Cooper went to work for accountancy firm Deloitte, Haskins & Sells as an auditor in Bristol. This company later became PricewaterhouseCoopers, in which she worked in acquisitions and strategy planning.
She joined Imperial Tobacco in 1999 as group finance manager and was promoted to group financial controller in 2001. She then rose to COO in 2009, then CEO.
Cooper has been a Non-Executive Director of Inchcape plc since July 2009.
Cooper has been Chief Executive of Imperial Tobacco since March 2010, taking over from Gareth Davis, who had held the position for fourteen years. She said at the time, “We need a change in mindset. Tobacco has been traditional in the way it has operated. We want to move from being a tobacco manufacturer to a FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods] company.”
In October 2012, Cooper noted that she and Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts were the only two female CEOs running FTSE 100 Index companies. Despite this, she has stressed that she does not support the introduction of quotas intended to increase female participation in boardrooms.
In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
Personal life Cooper has two daughters. She drives a Porsche Carrera and enjoys a pint of Guinness and a cigar.
^ Jump up to: a b c d “15. Alison Cooper”. Financial Times. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
^ Jump up to: a b c “Alison Cooper: Women CEOs are not a commodity”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
Jump up ^ “Interview: Imperial Tobacco chief Alison Cooper – ‘Display bans are a drag but I will keep sparking up bigger profits’ – Analysis & Features – Business – London Evening Standard”. standard.co.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
^ Jump up to: a b “CITY INTERVIEW: Board quotas would just be a drag, says Imperial Tobacco chief Alison Cooper”. This Is Money. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
Jump up ^ “Board of Directors”. Imperial Tobacco. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
^ Jump up to: a b “Alison Cooper: lighting up Imperial Tobacco”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
Jump up ^ “CITY INTERVIEW: Board quotas would just be a drag, says Imperial Tobacco chief Alison Cooper | This is Money”. thisismoney.co.uk. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
Jump up ^ BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour Power list