The 25 Most Influential: June 2004

With a higher degree of mandates from retailers, corporate legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley and a crowded product marketplace, it would appear that the consumer goods landscape is an unforgiving atmosphere full of revenue roadblocks. In truth, the opposite is true, as many of today's forward-thinking consumer goods execs are turning the aforementioned challenges into strategic opportunities. The following pages will introduce you to CGT's "25 Most Influential", now in its third year, which profiles the movers and shakers who are driving change and innovation. From spearheading massive information technology (IT) deployments, to inspiring cultural change, many of the following execs also understand that technology, by itself, means nothing. It's what you do with the technology that literally makes a world of difference.

Virginia Guthrie
CIO, Coors Brewing Company

Since taking up residence at The Coors Brewing Company, Virginia Guthrie has revamped the way the company tackles IT by forming a new leadership team comprised of 70 percent new talent and shifting focus from infrastructure to the business. Her lengthy resume as CIO includes a massive SAP supply chain project; the replacement of 85 percent of legacy applications; an overhaul of tools, governance and master data processes; integration of a large European acquisition; and standardization of hardware and software. Guthrie also outsourced the data center, help desk and desk top to a technical partner with improved service levels; she cut consulting spending by 60 percent; and lowered IT capital spending by 25 percent, stabilizing IT cost as a percent of revenue.

J. Michael Pocock
CEO, Polaroid

Polaroid Corporation is fast developing into a classic turnaround story under the leadership of J. Michael Pocock, who in his first year as President & CEO led the restructured instant photography company into solid profitability. Prior to joining Polaroid in March of 2003, Pocock spent most of his career in leadership positions at consumer electronics companies, such as General Electric and Epson, as well as in the computer industry at companies including Compaq. Pocock says Polaroid faces ongoing challenges from the rapid growth of digital cameras, but believes the company is well positioned to face those challenges with a strong brand, new products and a sound digital imaging strategy.  "New players and new technology are quickly redefining the photography industry's path to profitability.," he says. "Tomorrow's winners will be those who can change their business models and provide the marketplace with fast, easy and affordable ways to print digital images."

David Powell
SVP Marketing, 3M

David Powell is senior vice president of Marketing at 3M, a diversified technology company that serves consumer goods and other markets. In this role, Dave provides leadership for corporate marketing, as well as for community affairs, public relations, corporate communications and government affairs functions. Powell chairs the 3M Sales and Marketing Council, which consists of sales and marketing leaders from nearly 50 individual business units and meets regularly to leverage 3M's breadth and depth of expertise and geographic reach into nearly 200 countries. Powell's duties include helping to set company direction through participation on the executive management team, helping define customer needs and drive growth through direct interaction, and leading efforts to protect and enhance 3M's excellent reputation. He also plays a vital role in promoting eProductivity, Six Sigma and other corporate initiatives to drive continued solid growth. In his 33-year 3M career, Powell has managed 3M businesses in the United States, internationally and on a worldwide basis.

Peter Burrows
CIO, Reebok

In the 1990s, Reebok led a consortium of footwear and apparel companies to develop with SAP AG a version of software suitable for the footwear and apparel industry. In August 1998, Reebok was the first company to go live with the product. If Reebok CIO Peter Burrows was not then recognized as a visionary, his knack for providing a shared MIS service for Reebok now classifies him as an industry thought leader. With Burrow's guidance, Reebok is meeting the goals of a strategic information systems plan that connects information systems worldwide and provides a springboard for communication and new software applications. Systems deployed revamp the way that product designers, sales and production planners satisfy customer needs and increase margins and productivity.

Sumantra Sengupta
CIO, the Scotts Company

As is the case for many CPG companies, forecast errors combined with a seasonal business can lead to stock-outs that impact the bottom line. Following an ERP system implementation in 2000, Dr. Sumantra Sengupta recommended that The Scotts Company embark on a point-of-sale collaboration project to further drive sales and avoid customer-driven stock outs by shifting from a product-centric model to a customer-centric model. Following extensive planning, Dr. Sengupta and his team implemented Manugistics solutions as part of the Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) project. As a result, Scott's now bases forecasts on POS data, SKUs and historical fill rates at the customer level. This improved method of gathering data enables Scotts to forecast down to the regional level with an accuracy rate in excess of 70 percent. Dr. Sengupta also oversees global IT operations, ERP backbone and customer relationship systems.

Regenia Stein
VP Strategic Accounts, Category Management,
Miller Brewing Company

By re-energizing its already well-known trademark through aggressive marketing tactics, Miller Brewing Company is tapping brand growth. Behind-the-scenes, Regenia Stein makes certain that the right brands and quantities are represented at the right retailers through a robust category management plan. Several proprietary software tools (see the May 2004 CGT cover story) now help Miller quench the thirst of retailers looking for automated collection of sales data. "When a retailer partners with Miller, we are able to quickly incorporate that retailer's sales data, along with our consumer behavior data, into space management and assortment projects to help them make fact-based decisions resulting in increased customer satisfaction," says Stein. "Once we get all of that data into the system, the sky is the limit."

Mike Duffy
VP of North America Value Chain, the Gillette Company

Mike Duffy has manned The Gillette Company's customer service, revenue management, planning, distribution and promotions management throughout the United States and Canada since being named vice president of its North American value chain in 2002. Recognizing data synchronization as a key strategic initiative, Duffy will leverage technology for improved data accuracy, less administrative work for the sales force and a more efficient product launch process. "We are leading the charge with other multinationals such as P&G, Kraft and Coca-Cola," says Duffy. "We are well positioned within industry organizations such as GSMP and GCI, allowing us to shape and define governing principles behind this emerging capability." Data synch provides the long-term platform for widespread adoption of B2B collaboration capabilities, segwaying into Duffy's second IT project: In parallel with proving the technology, Duffy and his team are challenging operations to redesign their business processes, comparing the "as is" with the "to be" ePC/Auto-ID enabled process.

Craig Hodnett
VP Category Management,
Dr. Pepper/7UP

Three years ago, Dr. Pepper/7UP was weighted down by the time and money it spent to print and analyze reports for its sales teams. To break free from mountains of paperwork, Craig Hodnett adopted a "point-and-click" category management tool from Interactive Edge. "This kind of thinking gets you out of the paper trail," says Hodnett. "Now I have time for 20 percent club projects." With the analytic tools in the Interactive Edge solution, Dr. Pepper/7UP can improve the quality and speed of data-intensive, custom presentations for strategic initiatives such as category management, new item presentations and business reviews. For upkeep, Hodnett holds workshops for category managers and salespeople relating to its seven categories.

Barbara Carlini
Cio, Diageo, North America

Since joining Diageo in 2001, CIO Barbara Carlini has spearheaded projects that enhance processes and relationships correlating to the sales, marketing and distribution of Diageo brands. She leads more than 300 information technology personnel throughout the United States and Canada, streamlining revenue-generating business processes and support ing global standardization initiatives. In conjunction with Manugistics, Diageo created a Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) program that enables its trading partners to integrate the entire business chain from planning and distribution to inventory control. By improving how it manages and monitors inventory flow, the company's beer operation, DIAGEO-Guinness USA, significantly reduced the time its sales force spends on inventory and order-related activities. Rolling out the program in February 2003 to approximately 65 beer distributors allows for Diageo to focus more on revenue-driving activities.

Mansour T. Zadeh
CIO, Smithfield Foods

Even though Smithfield Foods has doubled in size over the past five years due to acquisitions, Mansour Zadeh, the former chief technology officer for Kraft Foods, ensures that all companies under the Smithfield banner are on the same page. "Collaboration and knowledge transfer has been a major focus within the company," says Zadeh. "You cannot successfully operate an IT organization that operates in a vacuum." Zadeh is also on a mission to build the fundamentals for electronic commerce across the entire Smithfield footprint and describes the monumental undertaking as on-time data and real-time decision-making capabilities that will ultimately make a huge impact on his company's low-margin food products. "That's where the benefit is," says Zadeh. "Both from the top and the bottom, you're increasing revenue."

Christopher Lischewski
CEO, Bumble Bee/Connors Bros.

In February 2004, Bumble Bee Holdings entered into a transaction agreement to combine with Connors Bros. Income Fund. With Christopher Lischewski leading as president and CEO, the transaction created the largest branded seafood powerhouse in North America, with revenues amounting to more than $900 million for the 12 month period ending September 2003. According to Lischewski, the combination of the companies' respective brands, low-cost operations and strong management teams positions the company for strong future growth, attainable through continued operational improvements, product innovation, geographic expansion and accretive acquisitions. Lischewski's decision to buy Connors Bros. was consistent with the strategy to aggressively improve both top and bottom line growth first outlined in May 2003 when senior management acquired Bumble Bee in partnership with affiliates of Centre Partners Management from ConAgra Foods.

Gordon Steele
CIO, Nike

The classic Nike slogan "Just Do It" couldn't be more appropriate to sum up Gordon Steele's attitude towards getting his entire organization on the same IT page. Under Steele's supervision -- the Nike Supply Chain Project (NSC) the largest operations initiative in Nike's 32-year history -- spawned a global SAP rollout, which is now 9,000 users strong and counting. ROI is nearly 20 percent, thanks in part to SAP's Apparel & Footwear application, which helps maintain an optimal amount of stock. "The better the planning and less blind buying you do, the more apt you are to have the right inventory," says Steele. "This platform has given us much more sophisticated, planning, tracking and inventory management."

James Milde
CIO, Sony Electronics

As the person responsible for all IT within Sony's electronic division, which encompasses approximately 20,000 users, eight manufacturing operations and 100 additional facilities spanning the United States, James Milde reportedly admits to accomplishing just about everything he planned to upon joining the company in January 2002. For starters, he developed solid business cases for IT projects by working with different functional departments, prioritizing investments and quantifying returns. Milde also renegotiated contracts for voice and data networks, hardware and software licenses. A shared IT services model across Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures developed under his watch to consolidate data centers. Milde also put the finishing touches on outsourcing contracts to move most programming

Jim Stengel
CMO, Procter & Gamble

At the American Association of Advertising Agencies Media Conference in February 2004, Jim Stengel took a stand against the traditional marketing model, charging that the CG industry is too dependent on marketing tactics that are not in tune with the consumer. According to an Advertising Age article titled, "It's Broken", Stengel recently assigned P&G's approach to marketing a grade of C-, citing that the company did not take advantage of the abundant supply of new media available to measure and analyze promotions. Along with other P&G media execs, Stengel is now working on plans for P&G that emphasize media planning as a top priority, thus determining where the company requires innovativation, said the Advertising Age article. Part of this plan included a consumer-centric campaign to choose a P&G SuperBowl ad.

Doreen Wright
CIO, The Campbell Soup Company

Of the $3.1 billion soup market in North America, Campbell's retains the lion's share of sales with about 67 percent. And since Wal-Mart's, annual sales tip north of $244.5 billion -- they can make or break a year for a supplier like Campbell's, who is feeling the heat to beat competitor Progresso to the RFID punch. Doreen Wright remains calm in the face of such adversity and understands all too well that demand for its products will be the ultimate force to shape the decisions of a retailer as large as Wal-Mart. Make no mistake; Wright's prime motivation is to move with incredible speed and accuracy when a new mandate comes down the pike. For example, Wright says Campbell synchronized information on prices and availability on all its products with Wal-Mart in about two weeks, a process that would have taken months under a prior process.

Nicholas Willcox
VP of IT, Unilever

Unilever North America generates revenue of about $10.5 billion, a number that might look different if it weren't for the vigilant eye of Nicholas Willcox, whose jaw-dropping list of successful IT implementations keeps his company running like a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine. Most recently, Willcox implemented Master Data Synchronization with Wal-Mart through Transora and UCCnet for Unilever North America. Willcox is also spearheading his company's RFID work with Wal-Mart, specifically tag 3 products. "RFID is an exciting technology that has the potential to increase supply chain visibility and on shelf availability with reduced stock, resulting in a more effective and efficient supply chain," says Willcox. "We are currently working through the challenges of leveraging this technology in a way that provides business value across the value chain."

Mike Haas
Consumer Group CIO, Johnson & Johnson

Even though Mike Haas is out to make sure his team is "business leaders first, technology leaders second," his view towards RFID doesn't take a back-seat approach. Serving time on Johnson & Johnson's RFID Steering Committee, Haas says his company is " trying to take a leadership role in the healthcare industry from an RFID standpoint. We are thinking broadly beyond our core consumer products." In addition to keeping a close watch on areas of GCI, data synchronization and various trading exchanges, Haas is also entrenched within a massive SAP roll out. SAP, according to Haas, makes the most sense for Johnson & Johnson due to its ability to handle massive amounts of data while providing a global view of its customers. "An integrated suite made much more sense over best-of-breed," says Haas.

Greg Tadych
Director, Supply Chain Systems, Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark's (K-C) 2003 revenues were $14.3 billion, driven in part by an increasing focus on innovative uses of information technology to deliver value-added business capability -- including that of IT Supply Chain systems led by Greg Tadych. Tadych has helped foster collaborative retailer and supplier planning systems such as CPFR and Collaborative Supplier Planning, and is currently leading an improved demand-driven Forecasting, Supply Network Planning and Production Scheduling initiative using SAP's APO. Tadych is spearheading K-C's business value-driven RFID IT program. "We are looking to not only leverage RFID to increase supply chain visibility and drive operations efficiencies, but also to use RFID to improve demand-driven product availability and business collaboration with customers and suppliers," says Tadych. "K-C was one of the first eight suppliers working with Wal-Mart's RFID early-tagging program to tag Scott paper towels, and we plan to leverage RFID to provide win-win business value across the extended supply chain."

Reinier Jens
President, Philips Consumer Electronics

Philips Electronics has managed to lose money on its U.S. consumer electronics business every year for the last 15 years. So why, pray tell, should Reinier Jens make this year's Influential list? He's pledged to reinvent the company's business model and grow its presence in the North American market. Jens is now building retail partnerships, creating industry alliances and driving profitability to make the company's overall supply chain more efficient. As part of the company's efforts to create stronger industry alliances, Philips announced a partnership with Yahoo to stream multimedia content from Yahoo sites to Philips consumer electronics devices. Other Philips alliance partners also include Nike, Bose and Ikea. "We will continue to explore innovative business channels like the Bose stores and develop differentiated business models that are profitable," said Jens at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Marc West
CIO, Electronic Arts

As the leading video game publisher in the United States, with over one hundred popular titles to its credit, Electronic Arts (EA) is a shining example of how to successfully meld information technology with sales and marketing. How do they make it work? By hiring former Oracle Consulting protege Marc West, the company's global CIO since 2000, who now drives EA's business/technology alignment for its console, PC and online gaming. West admits he's "a little demanding" about how EA's front end strategy works and describes it as a "trade off" between financial services and warehousing: "The ability to tell first day sales versus first week sales is critical to the marketing campaign and how you shape future orders." Case in point: EA's net income in 1Q 2004 skyrocketed by 82 percent.

David Bergen
CIO, Levi Strauss & Co.

David Bergen's first task as CIO for Levi Strauss & Co. was to match the company's U.S. systems with Wal-Mart's expectations of supply chain efficiency. Before he arrived, Levi delivered products on time only 65 percent of the time, says an eBusinessIQ article titled, "Making Levi's Wal-Mart Ready". Thanks to a massive IT overhaul, Levi can now deliver products on time, 95 percent of the time. According to the same article, Bergen also developed a dashboard that provides visibility into how Levi's jeans are selling on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. Other accomplishments include forming a regional distribution facility, the development of a scanning tool to check the accuracy of cartons and the implementation of AS2 technology to exchange with Wal-Mart EDI transactions. Manugistics applications allow collaboration on demand forecasting, product modifications and orders planning with Wal-Mart. Levi also upgraded its networks and is re-launching an SAP effort in the fourth quarter if 2004.

George Chappelle
CIO, Heinz

While federal legislation like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is making the trade promotions arena a very scary place for many consumer goods firms, H.J. Heinz can sleep soundly thanks to George Chappelle's thought leadership. Chappelle is primarily responsible for unlocking Project Keystone (see the March 2004 CGT cover story), the single biggest achievement for Heinz in North America this year. In a nutshell, Project Keystone allows Heinz customers to generate funds based on the products they buy from Heinz. As customers perform, they are able to withdraw from their accounts. "It's about driving growth and rewarding efficient customer behavior as it relates to trade promotion as well as creating a new level of productivity across our field sales organization," says Chappelle.

Paul Amorello
SVP of IT, Pepperidge Farms

In the face of a diverse set of needs in the field and constant pressures to reduce costs, Pepperidge Farm Senior Vice President of IT Paul Amorello invested in a massive handheld deployment to the company's route sales force, which includes more than 3,500 drivers. According to Amorello, mobile technology leapfrogged current solutions and provided Pepperidge Farm with an opportunity to move ahead of the competition and provide true value to sales reps. Along with his team, and in partnership with Eleven Technology, Amorello embarked upon an eight-month solution definition phase focused on profitability drivers like order accuracy, reductions in "stales" and increased shelf-space, The end result is an integrated selling and delivery toolkit. To date, the project has been a huge success at all levels in the organization -- over 300 field and management personnel have contributed to the design process. Amorello expects his efforts to enrich the instantaneous decision making powers of the delivery agent without slowing him down.

Ray Shei
CIO, Kellogg Company

The Kellogg Company selected a range of solutions following the completion of its March 2001 acquisition of Keebler Foods Company, which went live with mySAP E-procurement in less than six weeks. To help enable Kellogg's North American business process integration, Ray Shei squeezed what would normally be a two-year SAP implementation project into a time frame of less than 10 months. "We welcome the opportunity to leverage the SAP platform's capabilities for Kellogg's North American business in the exchange and delivery of timely, relevant and accurate information," said Shei in a press release issued by SAP. Solutions deployed include mySAP Supply Chain Management, mySAP Business Intelligence, mySAP E-procurement and mySAP Customer Relationship Management. Five thousand employees through North America leverage this technology to enhance business opportunities and increase anticipation of partner and supplier needs.

Gene Obrock
VP of Operations, Henkel Consumer Adhesives

Henkel, known for its Duck21 brand duct tape, produces hundreds of consumer products at more than 80 sites worldwide. Years of impressive sales, along with a combination of new products, acquisitions and market expansion are creating new opportunities for Henkel to treat its supply chain as a strategic weapon. In response, Gene Obrock empowers his production managers with tech from Optiant and Insight in order to provide them with visibility across the global supply chain by analyzing vital business information, including lead-time, service-level requirements and inventory-holding costs. Obrock also likes to create 'what-if' scenarios that ultimately reduce the time-to-decision from weeks to hours, or even minutes. "Being good in logistics is a key driver for us to be competitive," says Obrock. "We now make decisions very quickly and don't have to rely on guessing or hiring consultants."