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Newell Brands Appoints Ritchie Bros. CEO Saligram as Next Chief Executive

July 30, 2019, 07:25 AM

Consumer products company Newell Brands announced the appointment of Ravi Saligram as President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Newell Brands Board of Directors, effective Oct. 2. Newell owns an array of well-known brands ranging from Elmer’s glue to Mr. Coffee.

Saligram announced in late June that he would step down from his Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers posts effective Oct. 1.

Saligram was appointed CEO of Ritchie Bros. in July 2014. In 2017, Saligram led the acquisition of online leader, IronPlanet, making Ritchie Bros. one of the top 50 B2B ecommerce players in the world.

“After a rigorous and wide-ranging selection process, the board is delighted to welcome Ravi as the company’s next CEO. Ravi is an exceptional business leader and a proven chief executive officer with a track record of building diverse leadership teams while delivering high quality performance in complex multi-unit organizations,” said Newell Brands Chairman Patrick Campbell. “He has an impressive history of driving shareholder value during his prior CEO roles, and he has successfully executed multiple digital transformations during his career. He is noted for his leadership in consumer-facing and digital businesses and has lived and worked in multiple international environments. The Board welcomes Ravi to the role and looks forward to partnering with him and the broader leadership team to build Newell Brands into a leading next-generation consumer products company.”

“I am delighted to return to my roots in CPG and lead the Newell team to reestablish the organization as a premier, cutting edge consumer products company that is at the forefront of meeting evolving needs and lifestyles,” said Saligram. “I am confident that Newell, with its iconic brands and a compelling product portfolio, is ripe for building a strong growth platform that drives shareholder value through the creative intersection of design, innovation, e-commerce and efficiencies. I’m excited to partner with the leadership team as we galvanize employees to drive world-class execution, become digital-first and build a forward-looking, winning culture.”

Saligram comes to New Jersey-based Newell Brands with an extensive background in consumer brands, omnichannel commerce and global operations, and a proven record of building a pipeline of best-in-class talent, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, the company said. He is currently CEO and a director of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. Over the past five years, he successfully drove a significant strategic, operational and cultural transformation of that company to a multi-channel, digitally savvy, technology-enabled world leader in its field. Prior to that, Saligram served as CEO of OfficeMax Inc., where he drove innovation and evolved the company from an office products distributor to an omnichannel provider of workplace products, exiting the company after his successful championship of the merger of equals with Office Depot.

From 2003 through 2010, Saligram served in executive management positions with ARAMARK Corporation, a global food services company, including President of ARAMARK International and Chief Globalization Officer and Executive Vice President. From 1994 through 2002, he served in various capacities for the InterContinental Hotels Group, a global hospitality company, including President of Brands and Franchise for North America; Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director, Global Strategy; President, International; and President, Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, Saligram held various general and brand management roles at S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. both in the United States and overseas. He began his career at Leo Burnett Company. Saligram holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an electrical engineering degree from Bangalore University, India. He has served on the Board of Directors of Church & Dwight Co., Inc. since 2006.

Under his leadership, Ritchie Bros. was recognized as one of British Columbia’s Top Employers in 2018; OfficeMax was recognized by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies, two years in a row; and S.C. Johnson Korea was named one of the three best foreign managed companies in Korea by KBS TV. In addition, in 2018 Saligram was named a CEO of the Year by Business in Vancouver, as well as the Best in Biz Executive of the Year.

Newell currently is led by Chief Financial Officer Christopher Peterson, who was appointed as interim chief executive in late June. Former Newell CEO Michael Polk retired at the end of June.

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