The Disruptors: Craig Stevenson

Craig Stevenson has over 30 years of consumer package goods experience at both Procter & Gamble and The Clorox Company. He has extensive business leadership expertise, having run several business units at Clorox, including the Professional Products Division, Burt’s Bees personal care and, most recently, managed a $500M portfolio of brands that included Burt’s Bees and the Renew Life Probiotics business.

Prior to joining Scholl’s Wellness Company, Stevenson was an independent consultant to various private equity firms, including Yellow Wood Partners.

 

Talk about your role at Scholl’s Wellness Company?

I am the CEO of the newly independent Scholl’s Wellness Company. This company was formed due to the purchase of the Dr. Scholl’s brand by Yellow Wood Partners (a Boston-based private equity firm) from Bayer, the large pharmaceutical company. The company is comprised of many of the same people who worked on the business at Bayer, as well as new hires and people who came from previous Yellow Wood portfolio companies.

What’s unique about the job?

First, creating a new culture that reflects the melding of the three employee populations (Bayer, Yellow Wood and new hires). That culture can’t be a manifestation of just one of those groups; it has to reflect the best of all of them. Second, this brand has been owned by pharmaceutical companies for decades. That brings many great things – a strong scientific basis around products and a rigorous focus on product quality, but sometimes the consumer can get lost in that technical approach. Our job is to put the consumer back at the forefront of this business, and to solve the needs that she/he has. Lastly, this is an iconic, trusted category leading brand, that has been serving customers for over 80 years. How do we leverage all of that amazing history while at the same time modernizing it for a different world?

What’s the wow factor of the products?

Our products have been rigorously tested and validated for their proven impact to consumer well being, but the WOW factor is just what a difference they make in the lives of consumers. Many of our customers tell us that they were initially resistant to using insoles, because they felt they were for “people with problems” or for “when I get older.” However, once they actually try them, they love them, and can’t imagine going back. When you can help someone be more mobile, have better quality of life, that is a pretty big wow.

What the latest with the company?

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank all of the frontline workers who are helping all of us get through the Covid 19 crisis. Dr. Scholl’s has donated over 255,000 insoles (80,000 in Canada) to help these frontline workers deal with the long shifts and constant movement they do, as they care for those impacted by this disease. Like many businesses, we have been impacted by the crisis, and have seen a drop off in business that we believe is temporary. Our job moving forward is to give consumers great products, that make a difference in their lives.

 

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