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  Colleen Goggins
Colleen Goggins '79
Colleen Goggins
Branding for a better life

By Shannon Sweetnam

Ask Colleen Goggins what she is most proud of and the 1979 Kellogg School graduate will tell you it's the contribution she has made to the well-being of people around the world.

As worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson's consumer and personal care group and a member of the executive committee, Goggins has global responsibility for six of Johnson & Johnson's business areas. Brands under her helm include Johnson & Johnson Baby, Aveeno, Neutrogena and Band-Aid.

"I've been lucky to inherit some of the best-loved brands in the world," says Goggins. "I want more people to know these brands, and I want to leave these brands as strong as, or stronger, than they were when I inherited them."

In her four years as worldwide chairman, Goggins has renewed the company's focus on growth both in terms of brand equity and geography. She's also worked to develop the company's leadership.

"Kellogg has been an important source of talent for my group," says Goggins. Her years at Kellogg have also played a key in her own success. "A lot of what we do is marketing," says Goggins. "We market products, ideas and capabilities. At Kellogg, I received a wonderful broad-based marketing education that I use every day."

In addition, the Kellogg School prepared Goggins to manage factors external to the company. "It's easy in business to get insular and look only at what you're doing," notes Goggins. "You can miss big opportunity and big threats if you don't continually broaden your focus."

Given her background, it's no wonder Goggins ended up where she is today. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, she was certain she would pursue a science career. Then a friend encouraged her to take a marketing course in her junior year. Goggins found the class so engaging she switched her major to marketing - paving her way to Kellogg.

In 1981, soon after graduating from Kellogg, she began working at Johnson & Johnson, where she will celebrate 24 years this November. In that time, Goggins has held many key positions in the company, including director of marketing of Johnson & Johnson GmbH in Germany from 1990 to 1992, president of Johnson & Johnson Canada from 1992 to 1994, president of the consumer products company from 1995 to 1998, and company group chairman from 1998 to 2001.

Being a woman in an often male-dominated field hasn't bothered Goggins, who cites the fact that about 40 percent of the executive community at Johnson & Johnson is composed of women. "I've never faced any setbacks or discrimination due to my gender," she says. "We have a lot of women in key positions and a lot of special programs for women, all of which are built around the concept that all individuals share responsibility for helping women advance within the company."

Goggins is especially proud of the company's Women's Leadership Initiative, created to support leadership development of the firm's global female employees, and of the Smith College Consortium, an intense women-only business program held each year at Smith College.

What advice does Goggins have for other women looking to follow in her footsteps? Join firms that offer "good training programs, a good track record at promoting female employees and [the opportunity] ... to maintain a good work/life balance."

Goggins says she was lucky to find Johnson & Johnson early in her career. "I had no idea how much the company would contribute to my personal growth and to the growth of my career," she says.

Continue to Dolores Kunda '84

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©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University