Charlotte Lambkin | Influence 100

Charlotte Lambkin

Corporate Relations Director

Lambkin joined Diageo in January 2014 as the company’s top communicator, filling a role that was previously held by Ian Wright for 13 years. Lambkin brought a different sensibility, having spent nine years at BAE Systems, including five on the executive committee as group communications director, where she was charged with building the company’s worldwide comms function at the age of 32. Lambkin successfully transformed BAE’s communications approach from a reactive, tactical function to one that is central to overall business development and strategic advancement.

Along the way, she also developed a reputation for tackling issues head on. “I am a firm believer that you are master of your own destiny,” Lambkin has said. “It’s easy to blame others when things don’t work out — but much more empowering to look to yourself for the answers.” Before joining BAE Systems, Lambkin spent a decade at Pelham.

Notable career highlight?
Being asked to present the annual prizes at my high school and deliver an inspiring speech to 1000 pupils, parents and all my old teachers. A very diverse audience to pitch a story about your career.

Most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications/marketing?
It can take a while to get internal stakeholders on board and when you do, it was everyone else's idea! The only way to make it work is to let them think it is. No egos need apply in our trade.

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
You are business person first and a communicator second.  I would recommend an MBA and a clear focus on being able to align clearly with business goals and be strong on data analytics and project management. Ideas need to deliver.

What skill/experience is required of today's CCO that might not be as relevant in the future?
As we drive more paid, earned and owned content through our own channels, the traditional media handling of the past will have a role, but not in the way we know it today.

Who or what inspires you to be your best? 
A strong work ethic drummed into me by my father and a team of people that deserve the best I can be.

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list? 

The Sunday Times, a really good murder mystery on TV and Ted talks

Most interesting place you've traveled to?