5 mins with… Andrea Kenna


Your favourite app?

Sainsbury’s supermarket. I travel so much, and the app enables me to do the grocery shop at any time and from anywhere.

What’s your life philosophy?

Don’t worry about what you can’t control.

What special skill do you possess?

I can cook. At least that’s what my friends and family tell me. Apparently, I also make the best brownie ever (according to my son).

What do you do in your spare time?

Spend time with family and friends, and travel the UK seeing all my favourite bands.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?

Deal with the cancer diagnosis and then the death of my mum.

What’s your favourite cuisine?


Your guilty pleasure?


Your favourite gadget?

Apple HomePod speaker. I love music and it’s so easy telling Siri to play my favourites.

Early bird or night owl?

Most of the time I’m an early bird, unless I’m on a night out, of course!

What was your last online search for?

This year’s summer holiday.

Where would you most like to visit and why?

San Francisco. I love city life and San Fran has been on my ‘must visit’ list for many years. 

What would be a good theme song for your life?

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves. I always try to look on the bright side and I love holidays in warm climates. At home, we all have a Mr Men or Little Miss mug and mine is Little Miss Sunshine!

What was the last gift that you gave to someone?

A drum kit to my son.

What is humankind’s greatest invention in your opinion?

The iPhone. You really can stay connected, anyway you want to, anywhere in the world.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?

Neil Armstrong on 16 July 1969. I don’t think I will have the opportunity to see space or the Moon in my lifetime, so that would be pretty amazing. 

Career Q&A

Describe your current job.

I lead a team of 60 people as Senior Director Merchandising Europe for Office Depot, accountable for delivering profitable category sales across seven countries.

Seven category teams and one new business team manage the product assortment, deciding which products and services to buy and develop, the selling price and any promotional tactics to drive demand. My key challenge is to stabilise category performance and grow sales, so there is lots of focus on the execution of category opportunities and trading results.    

If you weren’t doing your present job, what else would you like to be doing?

Something completely different… a fiction writer. I read a lot and love the imagination and escapism.

Which industry figure do you most admire?

Graham Cundick. An industry legend! I admire what he achieved at Office Depot and he was a renowned businessman and a true motivator who made people believe they could accomplish anything. The key lesson he taught me was that you cannot be victorious in all your battles, so focus on the ones you really want to win.

If you could change or influence one thing about the industry, what would it be?

Embrace Gen Z now through product innovation, compelling reasons to buy and the easiest, fastest ways to order to ensure they need this industry.

What personal item do you have on your desk?

I have three desks – in Venlo (the Netherlands), Leicester (UK), and at home – and on each one of them I have hand cream.