Taking the Wheel and Riding On
There are so many things to say that it’s hard to know where to begin. But an introduction is certainly in order and that’s a good a place to start so… Hello everyone! My name is Chuck, and as of today I’m Seventh Generation’s new CEO.
Saying this fills me with all kinds of emotions. I’m honored to have this opportunity at this point in my life. I’m grateful for the chance to make a lasting difference in the world. I’m humbled by the trust that’s been placed in me. And I’m amazed that after all the conversations and all the planning, it’s finally real.
As I assume day-to-day responsibility for taking the company where it wants to go, I’m all that and more. But mostly what I am is excited. Excited by the potential I see and the possibilities it holds. Excited to be embarking on what I believe will be the most rewarding chapter of my professional life, and just excited to be here.
At this point, I should probably run through my resume and explain how I came to sit in Seventh Generation’s CEO chair. I should, but I’m not going to because I think this moment is much more about what’s ahead of all of us than anything I may have done before it. Suffice it to say that until 2008, I was President and CEO of PepsiCo’s Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade division.
When I left PepsiCo last year, I knew one thing for certain: What I wanted to do above all else was to give back. Over the course of my entire career, I’ve been the recipient of many gifts from many friends, colleagues, and mentors, and I felt very ready to give whatever gifts I have to offer back to others. To do that, I started an organization called Manifest Leadership that would channel my passion for helping people grow into genuine, unique leaders.
What I had no intention of doing was becoming a CEO for another company. In fact, I actively told everyone who approached me about that possibility that I didn't want or need that kind of role to feel fulfilled. Then several months ago I heard about the search for a new CEO at Seventh Generation. That got my attention because I knew that this was not a business like any other. Some time on your website, our website, and a reading of the corporate responsibility report I found there confirmed it: This is a special company, and I knew right there that I was going to become a part it. A little while later I found myself sitting down with Jeffrey for the first time. Our conversation lasted for over 4 hours, and it was simply wonderful. We clicked. It clicked. And here I am.
Actually, it wasn’t quite that simple. The process was intense and intensive. It involved many discussions with many others in the company and on the Board. But each one just reinforced my overwhelming feeling that this is a perfect match.
And that’s because I believe in what Seventh Generation believes in. I believe that there is a better way to do business and that the world desperately needs the corporate community to adopt it. I also believe that we need to build a healthier sustainable world for our kids and that fulfilling that vision is the most important legacy any one of us could ever hope to leave.
I also think that I bring some unique skills to the table that will help our company thrive like never before in the face of new challenges and opportunities, both expected and unforeseen, that it will confront as its incredible growth continues.
In the meantime, if you're interested in learning something about who I am as a person, you’ll find more than you ever wanted to know about the real Chuck Maniscalco at my website. In lieu of that, here are just a few facts: My wife, Val, and I will celebrate 25 years together in October; we have two sons, one about to start graduate school at Pitt, the other finishing his junior year at Knox College in Illinois. Both of my boys are guitar players and runners like their Dad -- just better and faster, respectively!
That’s the mini-bio. No doubt, there will be time for us to learn more about one another as the days unfold. Until then, I want to thank you Jeffrey for his heartfelt and inspirational announcement about my arrival. If I needed any reinforcement as to why I'm joining this family of unique individuals and adopting their common cause, it is captured in Jeffrey's words. I could not imagine a better partner or friend to work beside in the coming years.
It is a genuine honor to be chosen to continue his work and lead Seventh Generation on the next leg of its remarkable journey. It’s going to be an extraordinary ride, and I’m ready to take the wheel. Let’s go see what’s waiting for us.
To read a related post from Jeffrey Hollender, click here.