The European commission is to push for a quota for women on company boards to address the slow progress to gender equality in the senior ranks of publicly listed businesses. Previous attempts by the EU’s executive to set a 40% goal for women in the top ranks of listed companies have been blocked by Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden overs fears that Brussels was overreaching into domestic affairs. Hungary and Poland have opposed the move on ideological grounds.
The combination of 3G Capital’s ongoing acquisitions, margin pressure from discounters like Aldi and Lidl and the expectations of activist investors has thrown consumer packaged goods companies in the food space squarely on the defensive. Most have reacted by going into cost-cutting mode, slashing entire layers of marketing and R&D talent from their organizations.
The retail revolution in China is well underway. While the $13.7 billion Amazon – Whole Foods deal came as a huge shock in the United States, it didn’t in China, where digital disruption is already upending the retail industry.
J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler stepped down Monday (June 5) after 14 years at the helm, unable to arrest the upscale clothing chain’s slide. Drexler, the former CEO of Gap Inc., was an Apple board member who helped Steve Jobs create the first Apple stores.
The consumer products sector is in the midst of dramatic change. Manufacturers are reconfiguring through mergers and spinoffs. Retailers undergo consolidation and pricing pressure as ecommerce takes a growing share of wallet.
Most CEOs and boards name succession, both for the CEO and for business unit leaders, as their biggest strategic challenge. While this leadership challenge exists for every industry, it is particularly acute in the consumer sector, where many of the successive waves of disruption first hit.
As digitization sweeps across China’s economy and transforms consumers’ expectations and behavior, companies in every sector are scrambling to keep up. They must reimagine customer experiences, win at e-commerce, and harness digital technology to reshape their operations and organizations.