Today we’re thrilled to share a very special interview, thanks to our partnership with Fred Leadership Forum.
Today we are welcoming President and Chief Executive Officer from one of the worlds largest & most impactful Health & Wellness Brand. The Brand is Weight Watchers International & our special guest is none other than the very inspiring Mindy Grossman.
Mindy Grossman has served as a Director, President, and CEO of Weight Watchers since July 2017 & immediately begin weaving her magical skills in transformations, which you will hear more about later. Previous to that, Mindy has more than 38 years of experience in building and transforming global consumer brands.
Prior to joining Weight Watchers, Mindy served as Chief Executive Officer of both HSN & IAC Retailing, as well as Global Vice President of Nike business apparel.
Earlier in her career, Mindy held various other executive positions in the retail industry, including President and CEO of Polo Jeans Company, Vice President of New Business Development at Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation and President of Chaps Ralph Lauren. Mindy is also Vice Chairman for UNICEF USA, and this is barely scratching the surface of this inspiring Guru’s Career journey.
With such an astonishing leadership career, it’s no surprise to see Mindy attending as the Keynote speaker for this years
And as the Official Media Partner of this significant event, Rebecca was thrilled to sit down with Mindy & to begin diving into her experiences.
Enjoy Rebecca Sparks’ interview with Mindy Grossman, as she learns more about the qualities, traits & experiences involved in a leadership journey like Mindy’s. So let’s get started.
Mindy, your first year as the CEO of Weight Watchers International couldn’t have gone better. The Weight Watchers stock price has tripled since you started and shareholders are excited about the major transformation from a weight loss company to a more holistic wellness brand – What lead to this decision and what does the transition mean for the WW we know today?
I joined the company just over a year ago and it’s important to understand my reasons for joining. Over the last couple of years, one of Weightwatchers ambitions has been to shift towards helping people live healthier and happier lives.
Weight Watchers brings the science of healthy eating and the power of inspired community together. At this point in time, millennials will be the most obese generation in history and today’s 2-year-olds have a better chance of being overweight than healthy. Our aim is to become partners with people on their health journeys and to help democratize wellness.
During the recent Forbes Women’s Summit you shared “We wanted to evolve from being the best weight-loss program to being everyone’s partner in health,” Also I recently saw an interview on CNBC, where you talk about the importance & power behind consumers defining what Health & Wellness means to them and your mission is to now support them with their own unique journey. I love this idea, but it’s clearly a huge transition to undertake. As CEO of, how did you begin this significant transition, internally as a business & externally with your customers?
I’m a huge believer that in order to transform the person the first thing you need to do is transform the culture. After a month in the company, I did deep dives into every single area of the business and realised that the first thing we needed to do was galvanize the organization with renewed purpose. We wrote our “impact manifesto” and presented that to the board and held a significant event with 1000 people. We made the decision to also make the manifesto available to the world because transparency is such a great asset, especially if you’re looking to transform.
We launched our new purpose: to inspire healthy habits in real life for people, for families, for communities, for the world, for everyone.
We built the fundamentals of how we work together and unveiled the bold moves that we were going to have to make to get there and then we put our brand and reputation and business goals until the end of 2020 out there for people to see. Then, we started executing how we were going to live up to that purpose.
For example, we looked at the products we make and we realised that if we’re truly going to be a health and wellness company, not all of our products were up to the task. So we decided to end all the products which contained preservatives, artificial ingredients and sweeteners, which was about 70% of the products we sold. But we needed to make that decision.
When you go through this type of strategic change, how do you navigate it as an effective leader?
That’s very interesting & I can appreciate how important these elements would be. When talking about cultural changes and large strategic transitions, I wonder if, sometimes, we have to unlearn many of our work habits and assumptions, in order to relearn new things. Do you agree?
Yes. And there’s a certain bravery that comes with that and it’s also instilling within the organization agility and the need to move quickly. There is a need to collaborate and to have every person in the organization feel that innovation is within their job description.
As I mentioned earlier Mindy, you will be attending FRED Leadership Forum in October as the Keynote speaker, discussing the topic of Igniting Leadership. What are some tips you would share with young leaders, who are just starting out and Igniting their own journey into effective leadership?
Mindy, you are I have discussed the impact your coach, David Dotlich has had on your career. Is coaching & Mentoring something you therefore advocate & encourage?
One of the biggest assets you can have is an acute sense of self-awareness. The more you can work with a mentor or coach, the more self-aware you can become. When you’re willing and open to the conversation to better understand your impact on others – both positive and negative – the more you are likely to gain self-awareness.
What are some of the non-negotiables for you as an ethical and inclusive leader?
Making sure that our organization embraces diversity at all levels and at all times. When you have a healthy and diverse company, you have a much better opportunity to have productive discomfort – meaning you can consider other thoughts and ideas. Companies which are more diverse are more innovative and have greater potential for success.
THANK YOU MINDY FOR YOUR TIME & WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU AT THE FRED LEADERSHIP FORUM