LIVE: Grill Willie at the UK Jewellery Conference

04.09.2012 Professional Jeweller Magazine's Top 100 Party, Freemasons' Hall, London, UK

CMJ’s chief executive takes to the stage at the UK Jewellery Conference. Those who attended in 2014 will recall that the Grill Willie question and answer session got a little punchy last year, so Professional Jeweller sits forwards in anticipation of Round 2 …

Q1: the industry is craving more data. How is the CMJ responding?

Willie: If the board approves, we will be investing a six figure sum in this area. Data is the new oil and we want to deliver it.

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Q2: How are you going to enthuse people in ethical sourcing?

Willie: I am just going to keep banging on about it. It is a slow burn, but we are going to keep going.

Q3: What are the shoes all about. Are those red soles?

Willie: You have to do it right.

Q4: who inspires you from within the industry?

Willie: Hmm, I don’t know.

Q5: Jewellery Focus wrote an unflattering blog about you. What do you think?

Willie: I am not going to give it any credence.

Q6: when will the CMJ send out invoices by email and accept electronic payments?

Willie: Probably within about six months.

Q7: what did you learn from the regional meetings this year?

Willie: I learnt that I am definitely marmite.

Q8: Following the retirement of the CEO of Houlden, did you consider applying or merging?

Willie: I would never take that on, but a merger is a no brainer. Unfortunately the personalities involved will not allow this to happen.

Q9: How are the new board directors doing?

Willie: I think they are running the business even better now than the past board, but they were rabbits in the headlight for the first six months.

Q10: What is the greatest threat to the CMJ?

Willie: I think it is the issue of succession planning. It is a huge threat in this market.


*not a precise transcription.