Phil Marineau '70
Marineau returns to Kellogg to add — and enjoy —
decades haven't dimmed Phil Marineau's passion for the Kellogg
wants to be part of a great team," says the Class of 1970
graduate, whose career highlights include 23 years at Quaker
Oats, serving as its president and COO from 1993 to 1996;
a stint as president and CEO of Pepsi Cola N.A. from 1997
to 1999; and his role since then as president and CEO of Levi
Strauss & Co. "I have always taken great pride in my affiliation
with Kellogg. Even 20 years ago, when I was at Quaker, we
recruited aggressively at Kellogg."
his professional life, Marineau has contributed his time,
expertise and money to the school to ensure "a better educational
experience for current students," one of whom is his son,
Philip A., a member of the Class of 2006.
I talk with my son about all the academic and social innovations
taking place at Kellogg today, I want to go back,"
fact he has come back, and given back: Marineau serves on
the Kellogg Dean's Advisory Board, has been a keynote speaker
during the school's annual Pre-term orientation program and
appeared as a guest lecturer in Professor Brian Sternthal's
Advertising Strategy course. The Kellogg grad has also
hosted many alumni events at Levi Strauss & Co. headquarters
in San Francisco and occasionally addresses the Bay Area alumni
efforts speak to Marineau's belief that alumni engagement
establishes an important "dialogue" that he says proves valuable
to a business school looking to stay ahead of the competition
by tapping its graduates' insights. But alumni also benefit.
a lot from my ongoing relationship with Kellogg," he says.
"My discussions with Kellogg professors and students help
to keep my skills current. They provide me with viewpoints
that allow me to rethink my frame of reference."
visit to Sternthal's classroom, for instance, allowed Marineau
to gain "real consumer insights" from the students, while
also sharing his best practices from a lifetime of brand management.
insights have undoubtedly assisted Marineau in strengthening
Levi Strauss & Co. following a period of lagging performance
when it failed to listen to consumers and upgrade its product
the world in such turmoil, my job and my volunteer work
keep things in perspective and show me that there is still
so much goodness out there. I see incredible things happening
at the grassroots level and in organizations with respect
to giving back to those less fortunate."
Margie Stineman '03, program
officer at Arie and Ida Crown Memorial, Chicago
factors also pushed competition through the roof: "All the
barriers to entry in the jeanswear category were diminished,"
says Marineau. "In addition, traditional retailers were losing
share to vertically integrated stores, such as GAP, and mass-market
enterprises, such as Target and Wal-Mart."
company's performance began to decline, it became more challenging
to service the large debt load the company had taken on prior
to Marineau's arrival as CEO.
to change everything and restore the competitive disciplines
necessary to grow again," Marineau says, noting that the firm's
financial transformation is two-thirds complete.
this time, the company even contemplated selling off its popular
Dockers® brand, but after exploring the possibility with
several potential buyers, elected to retain it. "We considered
selling it if we could get a price that helped us pay down
debt and create shareholder value," says Marineau. "After
reviewing the offers we received and reflecting on our improved
financial performance in 2004, we chose to keep the business.
We weren't going to sell it for less than it's worth. It's
a great brand and we believe we will create more value for
Levi Strauss & Co. and the Dockers(r) brand by retaining it
and driving its continued development ourselves."
leadership style is rooted in the Kellogg graduate's leadership
principles, which include the mandate "to drive continuous
positive change and innovation." Where others might eschew
the challenges that Marineau has tackled head on, he has made
a real impact on the firm's financial hurdles.
of my job's pleasures is to share my passion for this
business with others through local and national presentations.
The organization has always given back to the communities
we serve by offering many philanthropically supported
programs, such as CampCare, a bereavement day camp for
children, and other supportive programs that help patients
and their families." Dorothy
Pitner Healy '86, president and CEO of Palliative CareCenter
and Hospice of the North Shore, Evanston, Ill.
career has been about either creating or building great brands,"
he says. "The opportunity to revitalize one of the great global
brands is exciting. When you're the CEO, you leave a legacy.
My goal is to have restored the company's health and leave
it with a culture and management that will do even better
than I did. That's the thrill of the job."
commitment to leaving a legacy at Levi Strauss & Co. seems
to mirror his commitment to the Kellogg School.
a deep sense of gratitude to the institution. I learned a
lot at Kellogg and it opened up a lot of doors for me," he
says, noting that Professor Dick Clewett's course on sales
and distribution has provided lifelong insights — including
the deceptively straightforward "sell where they shop" —
a key strategy that drove the company's decision to launch
a new brand, Levi Strauss Signature(tm), in the mass retail
channel. The brand has provided the company with significant
incremental sales since its July 2003 launch.
that is only one-way doesn't last long," says Marineau. "Kellogg
is a place that can continue contributing to who you are and
help you achieve your goals. And at the same time, as alumni,
we help Kellogg achieve its objectives."
to Wendy Lewis '95
to Why alumni give back