Here's what the UK's favourite chief executives did as their first jobs

Emma Haslett
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Tiefensee Visits Rolls-Royce Aircraft Engine Plant
Rolls-Royce's Warren East started out as a design engineer (Source: Getty)

Those in the corner office may look like they've got it good now - but, as the saying goes, we all had to start somewhere.

Now Glassdoor has collared some of those named in its most popular chief executives list last month, including Rolls-Royce's Warren East, Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi and Anglian Water's Peter Simpson, and asked them how they started out. Here's what they said:

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Peter Simpson, Anglian Water (#1 in 2017)

“I was a groundsman on a golf course near to my family home. My first job with Anglian Water was as an analytical chemist in our laboratory. I still have a passion for my craft as a scientist.”

Martin Bennett, HomeServe (#3 in 2017)

​“My very first job was in a food factory, I was a packer on the end of a production line. I learned a lot about real life – particularly from the largely female population on the line with me and also from the rest of the guys who enjoyed frequenting the local bookmakers at lunchtime.”

Warren East, Rolls-Royce (#6 in 2017)

“My first job was a design engineer.”

Phil Loney, Royal London (#10 in 2017)

​“I worked as a tyre fitter in a garage during my time at university to help raise money towards financing my education and social life.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia (#9 in 2017)

​“My first job was a summer spent working as an attendant at the neighbourhood Mobil gas station before automated pumps took over the world. Cash was king and they still sold leaded and unleaded gas.”

Ian McCaig, First Utility (#16 in 2017)

​“Well, I did a lot of farm labouring in my teens, but my first job out of university was as a software engineer - something I was deeply mediocre at.”

Henry Birch, The Rank Group (#14 in 2017)

“My first full time job was working as a researcher for David Steel in the House of Commons. Before that I had the normal working in a shop/building site/waiter type jobs as a teenager and student.”

Steve Ingham, PageGroup (#7 in 2017)

​“I started doing jobs for my father, on his caravan site, when I was 11 years old. Then a succession of summer jobs ranged from teaching sailing and windsurfing in the USA to working in an open cast coal mine in Derbyshire, driving an earth-moving truck which had wheels bigger than me! My first ‘real’ job though was working as a metallurgist at Johnson Matthey, for 4 years, after I finished university.”

Andy Bruce, Lookers (#12 in 2017)

“My first 'real' job was a graduate trainee at Land Rover as the assistant to the UK sales director. Little could I have imagined then that I’d go on to hold that role later in my career!”

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