Michael T. Cowhig
Retired President, Global Technical and Manufacturing, The Procter & Gamble Company; Chairman of the Board, Newell Brands
Michael T. Cowhig has been Chairman of the Board of Newell Rubbermaid since February 2010. He retired in December 2006 as President, Global Technical and Manufacturing of The Procter & Gamble Company—Gillette Global Business Unit, a post he held beginning October 2005. Previously, he held the position of President, Global Technical and Manufacturing of The Gillette Company from January 2004 to October 2005.
Mr. Cowhig joined Gillette in 1968, and thereafter served in a variety of roles, including Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Technical Operations—Stationery Products from 1996 to 1997, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Technical Operations—Grooming from 1997 to 2000, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Business Development from 2000 to 2002, and Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Technical Operations from 2002 to 2004.
Mr. Cowhig has considerable operational expertise and global leadership experience, and he has demonstrated success in meeting the demands of product innovation by leveraging manufacturing technology with an intense focus on delivering cost reductions. He also has a strong track record for operational success, proven leadership abilities and knowledge of supply chain operations. Mr. Cowhig is a former member of the Board of Directors of CCL Industries (a global specialty packaging company).
Michael B. Polk
Chief Executive Officer, Newell Brands
Michael Polk is Chief Executive Officer of Newell Brands, one of the leading consumer goods companies in the world with over $16 billion in sales. In 2016, Newell Rubbermaid and Jarden Corporation combined to form Newell Brands.
Mike joined Newell Rubbermaid as President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2011 and transformed the company into a bigger, faster growing, more global and more profitable enterprise. A global marketer, innovator and leader with a proven record of growing brands, driving change and delivering superior financial performance, he has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2009.
Previously, Mike was President of Global Foods, Home and Personal Care at Unilever, where he was responsible for the development, innovation and marketing of Unilever's entire 64 billion dollar portfolio of categories and brands. During eight years at Unilever, he is credited with transforming the company’s business in the Americas, sharpening Unilever’s global portfolio strategy, and creating a more competitive, faster-growing, innovation-driven organization. He was a member of the Unilever Executive Board from 2007-2011.
Earlier, Mike spent 16 years at Kraft Foods serving as President, Asia Pacific Region, Kraft Foods International and President, Nabisco Biscuit & Snacks, Kraft Foods North America. In both positions, he served on Kraft’s Management Committee. Prior to Kraft, Mike spent three years at Procter & Gamble working in manufacturing and research & development in the Paper Products Division. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mike is a member of the Board of Directors of Colgate Palmolive Company and the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College.
Ian G. H. Ashken
Co-Founder and Former Vice Chairman and President, Jarden Corporation
Mr. Ashken was Co-Founder of Jarden Corporation, Vice Chairman and President, before the launch of Newell Brands. Mr. Ashken served as Jarden's Chief Financial Officer through June 2014, prior to becoming President. In that role, he leveraged his diverse business experience and proven strategic and financial discipline to drive value throughout the enterprise.
Mr. Ashken served on the Jarden board and is currently a director of Platform Specialty Products Corporation. He has also served on the boards of Phoenix Group Holdings and GLG Inc. Mr. Ashken additionally serves as a principal and executive officer of a number of private investment entities. Between 1992 and 2000, he served as the Vice Chairman and/or Chief Financial Officer of three public companies, Benson Eyecare Corporation, Lumen Technologies, Inc and Bollé Inc. He is an active participant in a number of innovative initiatives to foster a healthy, sustainable future.
Thomas E. Clarke
President, Nike Innovation, Nike, Inc.
Thomas E. Clarke is President, Nike Innovation at Nike, Inc. (a designer, developer and marketer of footwear, apparel, equipment and accessory products). Dr. Clarke joined Nike, Inc. in 1980. He was appointed divisional Vice President in charge of marketing in 1987, corporate Vice President in 1989, General Manager in 1990, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1994 to 2000.
Dr. Clarke previously held various positions with Nike, Inc., primarily in research, design, development and marketing. Dr. Clarke also serves on the Board of Directors of Starwood, Inc. (a hotels and resorts company). Dr. Clarke has expertise in global brand management, marketing and product development as well as substantial experience in organizational development and knowledge of supply chain operations. He also played an integral role in the globalization of Nike.
President, Digital and New Platforms, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Kevin Conroy joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in July 2016 in the newly created position of president, Digital and New Content, overseeing all initiatives for new and emerging platforms for the company. He is leading the charge to broaden the studio’s new short form digital content utilizing MGM’s vast catalogue as well as original content creation; developing and expanding partnerships with major content brands for virtual and augmented reality experiences; and is a strategic member of the team working on the company’s faith-based and OTT efforts.
Conroy is an award-winning, highly-regarded executive who has been working in the digital space for more than 20 years, most recently serving as Univision’s chief strategy and data officer, where he led efforts to identify priority growth initiatives and developed Univision’s big data strategy. Prior to Univision, he spent eight years at AOL where he served as executive vice president for AOL’s products and marketing group, chief operating officer for AOL Broadband and held senior vice president, general manager posts for AOL Entertainment and AOL Music. Previously, he was chief marketing officer and president, new technology for BMG Entertainment and vice president, marketing for CBS/FOX Video. He began his career at Leonard Monahan, Inc.
Conroy has significant global experience in content, advertising and media, with particular expertise in the Internet and online and mobile media businesses. In addition, Mr. Conroy is a director of Sotheby’s, a global auctioneer of authenticated fine art, decorative art and jewelry. He has led large global efforts to build consumer websites and software applications and has managed a number of popular Internet brands. He has been at the center of the evolution of digital media from the introduction of the enhanced CD to HDTV to the mass adoption of the web and mobile platforms.
Conroy has been recognized as a “Digital All-Star” by Broadcasting & Cable and as “25 Executives to Watch” by Digital Media Wire.
Scott S. Cowen
President Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor, Tulane University
Scott S. Cowen is president emeritus and distinguished university professor of Tulane University and served as Tulane’s 14th president from July 1998 through June 2014. From 1984 to 1998, Dr. Cowen served as dean and Albert J. Weatherhead III professor of management, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Prior to his departure in 1998, Dr. Cowen had been associated with Case Western Reserve University in various capacities since 1976.
Dr. Cowen is also a director of American Greetings Corp. (a manufacturer of greeting cards and related merchandise) and Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (a real estate developer). Dr. Cowen is a former member of the board of directors of Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. (an operator of retail fabric shops).
Domenico De Sole
Chairman of Tom Ford International
Domenico De Sole has been the Chairman of Tom Ford International since 2005. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Group NV, and Chairman of the Group’s Management Board, a post he held from 1995 to 2004. From 1984 to 1994, Mr. De Sole served as Chief Executive Officer of Gucci America. Prior thereto, Mr. De Sole was a partner with Patton Boggs & Blow (a law firm) from 1970 to 1984. Mr. De Sole also serves on the Board of Directors of GAP, Inc. (a clothing retailer), Ermenegildo Zegna (a manufacturer and marketer of men’s luxury clothing) and is a Member of the Advisory Board of Harvard Law School.
Mr. De Sole has extensive global business experience as well as significant expertise in building and developing luxury brands and strengthening global marketing and operations.
Mr. De Sole is a former member of the Boards of Directors of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated (a manufacturer and marketer of eye care products), Delta Air Lines, Inc., Labelux SA (a manufacturer and marketer of luxury apparel), The Procter & Gamble Company and Telecom Italia S.p.A.
Martin E. Franklin
Founder and Former Executive Chairman of Jarden Corporation
Mr. Franklin was Founder and Executive Chairman of Jarden Corporation and Chairman of Jarden’s Board of Directors when the company merged with Newell Rubbermaid to form Newell Brands. He had served as Chairman and Chief Executive of Jarden since its 2001 inception.
Mr. Franklin brings an outstanding track record of creating and building successful businesses for the long term to his role on Newell Brands’ Board of Directors. He is Founder and Chairman of Platform Specialty Products Corporation, Non-Executive Co-Chairman of Nomad Foods Limited and a principal and executive officer of a number of private investment entities. Mr. Franklin has served on the public Boards of Promotora de Informaciones S.A., Kenneth Cole Productions and GLG Inc.
Between 1992 and 2000, he served as Chairman and/or Chief Executive Officer of three public companies, Benson Eyecare Corporation, Lumen Technologies, Inc. and Bollé Inc. Mr. Franklin also serves as a director of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (successor of Burger King Worldwide, Inc.). Mr. Franklin is an avid competitor and sportsman. He has completed numerous ultramarathons including Badwater, often called the world’s toughest footrace.
Group Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investment Banking for UBS AG
Ms. L’Esperance is Group Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Investment Banking for UBS AG. Prior to this role, Ms. L’Esperance served as Chairman of the Global Investment Banking Division at Barclays Capital Inc. (“Barclays”) and served as a member of several Operating and Executive Committees within Barclays. Prior to being named Chairman, Ms. L’Esperance was jointly responsible for Corporate Finance and M&A at Barclays from 2008-2013. She joined Barclays in 2008 from Lehman Brothers where she was co-head of Global Corporate Finance.
During her tenure at Lehman Brothers, she was also a founder and leader of the Financial Sponsors Group from 1997 through 2007 and previously was a Managing Director in the Media and Communications Group. She began her career as an Associate at Lehman Brothers in 1987. Ms. L’Esperance has consistently been an active contributor to many charitable Philanthropy and Diversity initiatives and serves as a board member of the Boys Club of New York.
Steven J. Strobel
Chief Financial Officer, Hill-Rom
Steven J. Strobel is Chief Financial Officer of Hill-Rom, a leading global medical technology company. Previously Mr. Strobel was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and a Director of BlueStar Energy Solutions (a retail electricity supplier) from August 2009 to March 2012, when it was acquired by American Electric Power.
Mr. Strobel served as Senior Vice President—Treasurer of Motorola, Inc. (a wireless and broadband communications company) from June 2007 to March 2008. He served as Motorola’s Senior Vice President—Corporate Controller from 2003 to June 2007. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Strobel was Vice President—Finance and Treasurer for Owens Corning (a manufacturer and marketer of building material and composites systems).
From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Strobel served as Owens Corning’s Vice President—Corporate Controller. From 1986 to 1996, Mr. Strobel served in a number of roles with Kraft Foods, a former division of Philip Morris Companies, Inc. (a manufacturer and marketer of consumer products). While at Kraft, he held various financial positions, including Vice President, Finance, Kraft Grocery Products Division; Vice President and Controller, Kraft USA Operations; and Chief Financial Officer, Kraft Foods Canada.
Mr. Strobel has substantial experience in financial matters and leadership in both consumer and industrial markets. He also has considerable experience with global, multi-divisional business models and a deep understanding of building brands and driving innovation at well-respected companies.
Michael A. Todman
Retired Vice Chairman and Member of Board of Directors, Whirlpool Corporation
Michael A. Todman retired in December 2015 as the Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of Whirlpool Corporation (a manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances), a post he held since November 2014. Prior thereto, he was President, Whirlpool International since December 2009 and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Whirlpool Corporation since January 1, 2006. Prior there to, he served as President, Whirlpool North America from June 2007 to December 2009. He served as President, Whirlpool International from January 2006 to June 2007 and served as Executive Vice President and President of Whirlpool Europe from October 2001 to January 2006.
From March 2001 to October 2001, he served as Executive Vice President, North America of Whirlpool Corporation. From 1993 to 1999, Mr. Todman served in a number of roles at Whirlpool, including Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, North America; Vice President, Sears Sales and Marketing; Vice President, Product Management; Controller of North America; Vice President, Consumer Services, Whirlpool Europe; General Manager, Northern Europe; and Director, Finance, United Kingdom.
Prior to joining Whirlpool, Mr. Todman held a variety of leadership positions at Wang Laboratories, Inc. (a developer and manufacturer of computer products) and Price Waterhouse and Co. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Brown-Forman Corporation (a manufacturer and marketer of alcoholic beverages), on the Board of Prudential Financial, Inc., the Board of Regents of Loyola University of Chicago and is a former director of Whirlpool Corporation.
Mr. Todman has distinguished international management experience as well as extensive sales and marketing leadership experience in his career with Whirlpool. He also has substantial institutional knowledge regarding the Company, including its operations and industries, due to his longstanding service to the Board.
Raymond G. Viault
Retired Vice Chairman, General Mills, Inc.
Raymond G. Viault, age 71, retired in January 2006 as Vice Chairman of General Mills, Inc., a post he held since 1996. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Viault was President of Kraft Jacobs Suchard in Zurich, Switzerland. Mr. Viault was with Kraft General Foods for a total of 20 years, serving in a variety of major marketing and general management positions.
Mr. Viault is also a director of VF Corp. (an apparel company). Mr. Viault is a former member of the Board of Directors of Cadbury plc (a manufacturer and marketer of foods and beverages) and Safeway Inc. (a food and drug retailer).
Mr. Viault has broad experience in global brand building and general management and has substantial expertise in international matters and integration of acquired businesses and has made contributions as a board member of other organizations. He also has substantial institutional knowledge regarding the Company, including its operations and industries, due to his longstanding service to the Board.