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  Jim Rose
  Jim Rose looks back on his Kellogg education as a transformative experience. "It opened doors," he says.  Photo © Tadd Meyers

For Mosaic CEO Jim Rose '86, value starts with people

As a member of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board, Jim has been a loyal Kellogg supporter for over 20 years, both with his dedicated service and financial contributions.

By Rebecca Lindell

Jim  Rose '86 knows something about adding value. He's created a lot of it during his career.

The Kellogg alum has helped a Fortune 500 company expand worldwide; taken a startup to the top of the London Stock Exchange; and made companies vastly more modern, efficient and influential.

But for Rose, "value" is all about people. 

"My work has always been about people — developing them, fostering trust, and maintaining the highest level of integrity," says Rose, who began his career as a manager for a human resources consulting firm. "These things create not just monetary value, but personal value as well."

Rose is now CEO of Dallas-based Mosaic Sales Solutions Corp., a 10,000-employee, privately held field sales and marketing company.

In 2003, Mosaic's parent company declared bankruptcy. A private equity firm then acquired Mosaic, with Rose joining Mosaic a year later. Since then, its profits have climbed sevenfold.

Rose credits technology and "getting the right team in place" for the reversal of Mosaic's fortunes. But Rose's track record suggests he deserves some credit too.

After graduating from the Kellogg Part-Time MBA Program, Rose spent several years as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche. From there he joined A.C. Nielsen Co., where he soon oversaw the company's U.S. operations. Rose relocated to London and helped extend Nielsen's reach into Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond.     

"Talk about adding value," he says. "Nielsen was already the market leader in 33 countries. When we got done we were in more than 100 countries. We consolidated the market and created a lot of efficiencies. We gave our customers a global solution."

Rose says shareholders won, but so did employees of the companies that Nielsen bought. "They were exposed to best practices and technologies, which added value to what they could bring to their customers in the local markets," he says.

Next Rose went to Blackwell Ltd., a $400 million global publishing and distribution firm. It was the mid-1990s, and not everyone was convinced of the Internet's promise. Rose was, and as CEO he pushed the company toward online practices.

"We set them up for the future," he says. "If they hadn't made that transition to the digital world, they might not be in business today."

By 1999, Rose was hungering to run a startup. He found one in QXL, a nascent firm that aspired to be the European eBay. A private equity group had just bought the company, and Rose was hired to help QXL fulfill its potential.

"This was 20 guys in a warehouse in a bad part of London," Rose recalls. "The opportunity was immense."

Within eight months, QXL was in 13 countries, and Rose had taken the firm public. By 2004, QXL had the best-performing stock on the London Stock Exchange, rising 1,000 percent in one year. The company remains a billion-dollar enterprise.

A stint as CEO of New York-based Media Planning Group North America followed before Rose was recruited to run Mosaic.

"In all of these companies, tremendous value has been created," Rose says. "But value in the financial sense is a by-product of other things. Your success is contingent on your product, your service and the quality of your investment in your people. The result of getting those things right is value."

One organization that "gets those things right" is the Kellogg School, Rose adds. No matter where he has been based, he has remained active in Kellogg alumni activities.

"Kellogg has opened doors and enabled me to change my life. That's why I try to give back and do as much as I can," Rose says. "That, to me, is all about creating value for the next generation."

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