About DW

Darren Williams

Darren Williams


Darren Williams started DW Exec consulting in January 2018, after leaving Unilever.

Darren, known as DW, started his Retail career ‘by accident’ having been told by his late Mother to find a career after a few false starts on leaving school. He began his career in the late 1980’s at Radio Rentals, the once mighty electrical chain, and spent 5 happy years there. He then moved onto 4 years in fashion retail, and following this, a period he describes as one of the happiest times of his career - 5 years at the iconic and trailblazing brand, Orange. It was here he first advanced from store into senior management.

Regional Management at Costa coffee came next, and then some time in Private Equity, before joining Argos, taking the lead of the London Region, and a turnover of £250M. 

He then joined Hotel Chocolat and led the retail division of the luxury chocolate business through a period of sustained and exceptional growth, from 27 to 85 stores and 4 countries and year on year double digit growth.  He was known for his leadership, his deep understanding of the customer, and the belief that the business simply had to be better than all the rest; it was never enough to have a fabulous brand and product, it always had to be so much more. There was industry recognition for its ‘happiness’ program as well as ‘Speciality Retailer of the year’ at the Retail week awards in 2012.  

In more recent years, DW was the Commercial Director at Paul UK, and then moved onto work with Unilever in bringing the T2 brand to the Northern Hemisphere, where in 2.5 years as Country Director the business achieved recognition breakthrough, a UK/USA estate of almost 30 stores, and an industry that recognised T2’s store experience as a leader in its field, again demonstrated by a further Retail week award.

At DW exec, now in its second year, DW has been fortunate to work with a number of brands across retail, hospitality, eventing and PR, and details of those can be found on the ‘who we work with’ section of this webpage.