John did one of those clever personality tests once and it pegged him as a ‘Challenger,’ which we think is about right. He likes to make things better. Well, not always, but more often than not. From creating dance events (with Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed) and an entertainment production company at college, and leading the turnaround of various consumer brands, to business trouble-shooting at Bain and Company, to the recent School Food Plan, John has a determination and energy to improve how things are. It was at Bain and Company that John met Henry and where the idea for a fast food revolution was born.
John took over day to day running of LEON as CEO in 2014. John is also responsible for innovation at LEON, personally tasting every dish before it makes it on to the menu. Especially the chocolate ones. He formerly wrote a column for the Metro newspaper and has also co-authored seven of the LEON cookbooks.
The business was named after John’s dad, and the sunshine that radiates from every LEON team member can be traced back to his mum, who John says inspires him every day with her positivity. You’ll find family photos in every LEON, on our website and in the LEON cook books. Team members are treated like members of one, big extended family. John is married to broadcaster Katie Derham and has two girls and a dog called Sunny, or maybe Sonny, he still hasn’t decided. He would probably use this space to say thanks to Katie, who allows the LEON team to camp out at their house for our summer and winter well-being days.