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Geoff McDonald

Former Global Vice President of Unilever

Geoff McDonald is the former Global Vice President of Unilever.  He has worked in Africa, Australasia, the Middle-East, Europe and Asia, as well as both North and South America. Today, Geoff is a consultant to organisations, helping them define and embed purpose as a driver of growth and profitability. Geoff is a very active campaigner for ending the stigma associated with mental health in the corporate world. Geoff previously convened a meeting with CEOs from FTSE 100 Companies to address their role and agree actions to break stigmas in the workplace and has provided support to the Royal Foundation (Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge) in their mental health campaigns. Geoff is also a Trustee of Family Links, a Charity that aims to educate parents and teachers   on developing emotionally-healthy children and young adults. 

This passion for breaking down stigma around mental health comes from Geoff’s lived experiences. Born in South Africa, his career took him all around the world which led him to the UK where he resides today. Geoff used to describe himself as a typical ‘macho male’ until he  experienced burnout  and was diagnosed with Anxiety-induced depression. Geoff shares his personal story of events which led to his diagnosis and the steps he took to improve his mental health which he continues to work on to this day. Geoff notes “every story we tell is like sending out a lifeboat and those suffering in silence cling on and realise they are not alone. I want people in organisations to feel they have the choice to put their hand up if they are suffering from anxiety or depression, just as they would if they were suffering from a physical illness”.

This strong and thought provoking storyteller will leave you with an informed and refreshing perspective that invites you to challenge your own biases. He will inspire you to face your own challenges head on and to take the first steps required to help yourself or those around you that need support. 

– Mental Health in the workplace

– Breaking stigma

– Senior Leadership

– Company purpose

– Resilience

“As an employment lawyer I am aware of the importance of mental health and wellbeing for global employers. I advise clients on this topic but this session has opened a new window allowing me to wear the shoes of an employee suffering from mental health issues and helping me to consider my own wellbeing.” - DLA Piper

“Thank you so much Geoff!  Very powerful insights which we will bring into our leadership styles on well being in the workplace.” - Delivery Hero