Cilla had a long career in advertising , including 26 years at the creative agency AMVBBDO where she was Group CEO and Group Chairman and kept the agency at the top of the agency billings league throughout her tenure. She also sat on the BBDO Worldwide Board.
She has chaired the Women’s Business Council, the GREAT Private Sector Council and the Advertising Association and acted as a trustee of Comic Relief, Business in the Community and Macmillan Cancer Support. She’s a Fellow of the Marketing Society and Business in the Community.
She is currently a Governor of the Wellcome Trust and a Non Executive Director at Whitbread plc, Genome Research Limited and Derwent London plc, where she chairs the Responsible Business Committee.
She was made a Dame in 2017 for services to advertising, diversity and equality.
Cilla graduated in French from the University of Birmingham in 1981. She served on Council as a lay member between 2010 and 2013 and founded the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme, providing final year students with mentoring from University of Birmingham alumni in senior leadership roles.