James Prior

Global Head of Leadership Development
Novartis International AG


• The Design and Deliver of the Global Leadership Development Strategy

• Supporting the implementation of growth at scale – working with the business to scale deep transformational work at scale. Ensuring a consistent standard of delivery is adhered to across the organisation and to ensure that the approach is achieving the ambition of building the capability and capacity to deal with an ever-changing context in our leadership population and beyond.


I joined Novartis in Feb 2018 after 4.5 years at Dentsu, My first role was in Somerfield on their management development scheme and worked as a field audit manager where I learnt a lot about leadership at a very early age. After a year the appeal of a company car and company credit card became too much and I joined SmithKline Beecham as a sales representative selling drugs on the right side of the law, I quickly moved into training, managing a training team who had responsibility for the launch of a new product.

I stayed for the merger of SB and GW to form GSK, working as a National project manager supporting the integration of Sales, Market and Training. During my time at GSK I completed a BSc through the Open University which specialised in Neurophysiology.

I left GSK in 2003 to join AstraZeneca and held various roles within the L&D and Marketing at AstraZeneca, these included heading up leadership development, Brand Management and running various sales training teams.

My last role was Head of Learning & Organisational Development at AstraZeneca UK where I was responsible for the Development and Delivery of the Academy strategy with in the UK Sales & Marketing Business.  This included sales training as well as functional training.

I left the organisation in 2009 to join the world of finance, spending 4.5 years in Barclaycard and Barclay’s where I held various roles, ending up as Global Head of Executive Development and leadership for the retail side of the business.

I moved to Unilever in 2012 as Global Director of Learning specialising in Leadership development for the talent population and then to Dentsu in 2013.

I am Visiting Lecturer at Cranfield Military Academy alongside Aston Business School & LSE


I have a Masters in Leadership and Development from Middlesex University a BSc in General Science (specialising in Neurophysiology) from Open University; and studied for a BSc in Radiography from Bristol.   


I have 1 daughter so she plays a massive part in my life. I am also a big rugby fan and so rugby plays a big role for my family. I love reading and also I try and keep fit.