Introducing Roberto Blanda


Roberto Blanda worked for the British American Tobacco Company (BAT) from 2012 to 2019, where he initially spent two years as HR Director in Italy. He then moved to the Global Headquarters of the company in London, first as Global Head of Talent Acquisition before taking on his final position as Group Head of HR for Operations. This role gave Blanda huge exposure to leadership teams and the international manufacturing and supply chain operations of BAT, tying in with his interests in management and leadership training. He is currently self employed and working as an organisational performance consultant.

Blanda has explored various coaching opportunities throughout his corporate career, including working as a managerial trainer through consultancy work and as an outdoor training specialist focusing on a combination of experiential training and classroom-based, leadership-related learning. He is currently adding to his portfolio of expertise with a formal coaching course from the Academy of Executive Coaching.

Prior to being taken on board at BAT, Roberto Blanda held numerous senior HR positions in a career spanning more than 20 years to date. His first professional position was at Servier Italy, beginning in 1997 as HR Manager and quickly gaining promotion to HR Director. This was followed by several years in the automotive sector, working first for Toyota Italy and then for Mercedes-Benz Italy (part of the Daimler-Chrysler Group) before joining BAT.

Education has always played a key role in Roberto Blanda’s career progression. Prior to embarking on his professional career, Blanda studied for and obtained both a cum laude Honours degree in Romance Linguistics and French, and a Master of Science degree in Educational Research (from the University of Washington and Oxford University respectively). He continued to broaden his education parallel to his working life and completed his Executive Master of Business Administration during his time at Servier Italy.

Outside of his corporate professional interests, Roberto Blanda’s enduring passion since childhood has been rowing, and he has achieved many notable successes in this field. These include selection for the Olympic team for his home country of Italy for both the 1992 Barcelona Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games. Blanda was first selected for the Italian National Rowing Team aged just 17 and was able to enter the University of Washington on a scholarship based on his talents in this area. He competed with the Huskies Varsity Rowing Team during his time in Seattle and in the famous Oxford Cambridge Boat Race during his time in England.