Steve Wright


Privacy Culture

CEO, Data Privacy Architect

Steve is passionate about big data and all things digital. With more than 20 years’ experience, designing, developing, managing and delivering transformational data governance, privacy and security  programmes, Steve’s  vast experience as a pragmatic and charismatic leader, ideally places  him as the ‘trusted advisor’ to the Board on all  privacy and security related  matters. Steve is also a published author, a non-exec director and is regularly invited to speak at industry events, trade associations and thought leadership working groups, working towards continually finding new ways to increase trust and transparency in respect of consumer services, business functions and product vendors.

Steve believes that big data (governance), cyber security and privacy are all inextricably linked as they share common objectives and principles, and therefore, require satisfactory safeguards and assurances. From a business perspective, this can be achieved by building ‘data trust and assurance’ programmes based on the fundamental principles of transparency, accountability, protection, integrity, confidentially and availability, accompanied by clear policies and delivered through comprehensive training, integrated procedures and a robust compliance regime.

This is where Steve’s role as Chief Privacy Officer at Unilever is particularly relevant because Unilever’s digital ambition, to connect with one billion consumers around the world, pushes the boundaries of functionality, connectivity and personalisation. Steve’s role is to work collaboratively and integrally with the business, to help steer and shape the digital conversation and leverage the power of data analytics, while also  ensuring that the business remains compliant with laws around the world but still competitive, and acts in a moral and ethical way in relation to the rights of the  individual.

His role as Trusted Privacy Advisor and Data Protection Officer, is essentially about making Unilever’s digital strategy, a reality. This work involves proactively communicating with Data Protection Authorities from around the world and regularly training lawyers, marketers, HR and R&D personnel to ensure that they understand and know their responsibilities.

Steve has integrated Privacy by Design concepts into Unilever’s applications and architecture and has embedded an easy-to-use Privacy Impact Assessment procedure, across all relevant Unilever Functions. This enables the business to continue to grow and innovate digitally, while remaining compliant and not putting its brands or the business at risk.

Having served as a CISO, and completed similar several leadership development programmes at Deloitte, PwC, Siemens and Capita, Steve has a full appreciation of what is required to get the job done in a cost effective, pragmatic and timely fashion. Throughout his career, Steve’s natural ability to lead from the front, to coach teams in successfully achieving their goals and to take responsibility consistently and courageously to deliver on promises, is what sets him out from the pack.

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Contributions by Steve Wright