Phil Leahy has been in the retail scene for years, and he's not pulling the brakes any time soon. We asked him 20 questions about his life outside the office, advice he'd give his 16-year-old self and plenty more.
1. What has been the proudest moment in your career?
Winning the ORIA Industry Recognition Award Winner in 2013.
2. What is your favourite film?
To Kill a Mockingbird.
3. What are three words that would describe you?
Approachable, Curious, Passionate.
4. You’re at a cafe. What is your go-to beverage order?
5. What was the last thing you bought online?
a) Did you add express shipping?
Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AHP 15.6″ Portable USB Monitor.
Express shipping with StarTrack.
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
7. Do you support AFL?
Melbourne. The year of my birth was their last to win a grand final until this year. My Dad John, his brothers Terry “Tiger” & Brian “Wrecka” all played for Melbourne. When my dad died at 16, Melbourne ruckman Garry “Bull” Baker became my surrogate dad. I was allowed to be in the players room every game while he was playing. Ron & Cheryl Barassi are close family friends. Somehow, I ended up living next door to Jim Stynes & we became friends. While he was president, he invited me to sit on his table as a guest of honour at the MCG and made fun of me during his speech for never being good enough to play for Melbourne. (He was very right).
8. How do you define success?
Happiness in work and play and having great friends.
9. When was the first time you shopped online?
eBay in 2001.
10. What do you enjoy about this industry?
The industry has the ability to empower anyone that wants to start a business. Retail is the biggest employer of people, and the opportunities are boundless. What do I like most?
11. Is there any advice you’d give your 16-year-old self?
12. What was your first job?
Warehouse assistant unloading trucks for a fabric wholesaler.
13. What’s your most-used App on your phone?
14. What was the first live concert you attended?
Gary Numan at the Palace Theatre.
15. Do you have any secret talents?
St. Kilda Bowls Club Open Singles Champion 2021.
16. If you could turn yourself into any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Batman – I love his man cave and toys.
17. Are you planning anything for the holidays?
I depart for LA on Christmas day and plan to work from there until we deliver the VIP Awards that opens Retail Week in New York on January 15th. I hoping to take a week off after that and visit friends in Austin Tx.
18. What is one thing that can instantly make your day better?
A big sale.
19. Do you have any pets?
Willow, my beautiful 7-year-old Weimaraner.
20. Looking at where you are now, did you expect to be in this position when you were 25?
I always thought hard work would pay off. I am a little surprised at how well I have done so far.