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Jonathan Pearce of Northgate answers Barker's Dozen

Date: 10 February 2014

It's the turn of Northgate's marketing boss in the hot seat
Jonathan Pearce, sales and marketing director of Northgate

1. What was your first job?

Not including washing cars every Saturday afternoon at my father's Ford dealership for a mere £5, my first fairly paid job was as a recruitment consultant in the manufacturing sector.


2. What was your first company car?

A silver Vauxhall Astra 1.8 CDTi Sri, with just enough body kit to make it look cool. Or so I thought at the time.


3. What did you listen to on your last car journey?

I'm a 5Live listener. It was the breakfast show with Nicky Campbell. I always feel like I've learned something new when I get to the office.


4. What one thing do you wish you could do better?

I regularly take part in trail runs and half marathons. I'm pretty reasonable but I'd love to get to a sub-1hr 45min half marathon; nine minutes to shave off doesn't sound much but it is!


5. What's your biggest achievement?

Professionally, getting the role of head of marketing at Northgate. Marketing is an extremely competitive industry and there are very few opportunities in the north-east of England like the one I have now.


6. Who are your role models?

Martin Johnson - he was a fearless competitor and leader on the rugby field.


7. What's the stupidest thing you've done?

I've done lots of stupid things over the years, one of which ended in a £3000 invoice from Bupa, but I'm going to keep them to myself for the sake of my reputation!


8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?

How we continue to improve customer service delivery. It is always at the top of our agenda.


9. What's in your garage?

A 1979 Ford Escort Ghia MkII. It's only got 27,000 miles on the clock from new and never skips a beat.


10. What's the worst thing about your job?

Not being able to do everything. In a business as dynamic as Northgate there are a lot of great ideas and we have to analyse, from a marketing point of view, which will deliver the greatest return.


11. What one law would you make or change?

I would make it illegal to throw cigarette butts out of moving cars!


12. What keeps you awake at night?

The neighbour's dog.


13. Who is your ideal celebrity date?


Cyclist Victoria Pendleton. I have so much admiration for her success and how she dealt with the challenges she faced during her career.

Name: Jonathan Pearce
Company: Northgate
Job title: Sales and marketing director
Home town: Newcastle upon Tyne
Family: n/a
Age: 34
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer: No risk, no hassle vehicle hire firm that keeps you on the road.