Spill the Biz Angus McKay 7-Eleven

How 7-Eleven’s CEO is charting a course to success

Sarah Stowe
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Angus McKay, CEO of 7-Eleven Australia, describes himself as both impatient and highly competitive.

“We’re in a business where our job is, in the right way, to win,” he says.

In this podcast Angus explains how he flipped 7-Eleven’s traditional hierarchy to a highly-accountable, agile structure and what impact the change has had on the business.

He talks about the role of innovation in technology and applying the lens of sustainability at the convenience store chain.

The key to bringing a great idea to life across 750 stores is all about process, he says.

“Good business is systematic,” he says.

Risk-taking key to business success

Angus also references authenticity and accountability as key elements of business.

“I like being asked to change myself and I love as a leader being able to reflect where we started and where we finish.”

Trusting the process and the team, he says, is crucial to managing change. And he believes in being brave, but not fearless. 

“Fearless is not wise to the risks you are walking in to. Having an element of trepidation is important, it makes you alert, not blindly optimistic,” he says.

Angus talks about instinct and risk-taking in business, and good leadership.

“You’ve got to love what you do. You spend too much time behind a desk, not with your family and friends, travelling. If you don’t like it, if you don’t love it, don’t do it. 

“That goes to the enthusiasm you bring as a leader,” he says.

Show notes

Angus McKay took on the CEO role after 7-Eleven had hit a reputational low point because of poor workplace compliance among franchisees. 

He has pushed innovation across the business, including the introduction of a new look store.

Among structural changes there is an improved process for franchisee field support.

The business is embracing sustainability in its strategy.

In the conversation Angus referenced the volume of SKUs in the convenience chain. SKUs are the unique sales codes applied to every type of item for sale.

The convenience store chain launched in Australia in August 1977. At time of recording, the business owned by two Australian families is for sale