Executive Marketing Positions

  • Senior Vice President & General Manager, Zep Inc.
  • Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Zep Inc.
  • Vice President of Marketing, Zep Inc.
  • Director of Marketing, Zep Inc.
  • Head of North American Marketing, Merisant Worldwide


  • MBA, Marketing & Strategy, Emory University
  • BA, Psychology, Vanderbilt University


  • Strategic Brand/Product Management for B2C and B2B businesses
  • New Product Development, Product Lifecycle Management, P&L Management
  • Marketing, Sales & Operational Collaboration
  • Elevating challenger brands and start-ups to compete against large national brands
  • Brand positioning/repositioning
  • Retail, online, and distribution go to market strategy
  • Creative demand generation through shopper, digital, social, and customer marketing

How John Can Grow Your Company

  • Developing marketing strategies to maximize growth opportunities in target markets
  • Transforming internal organizations to build and catalyze growth strategies in complex business and competitive environments
  • Brand positioning and messaging that resonates with target customers across all touch points
  • Competitive and category benchmarking, analysis, and insights to develop market opportunities
  • New product innovation and launch strategies to maximize ROI
  • Product lifecycle and pricing management to improve overall product portfolio performance and profit
  • Aligning sales and marketing on key strategic platforms to deliver aggressive growth plans
  • Working with private equity firms through due diligence and competitive market analysis to determine long term valuation of an enterprise.

Success Stories

  • Grew a niche retail specialty chemical business from $80M to over $150M by expanding distribution from less than 2,000 stores to over 14,000 in just 4 years.
  • Accelerated profits for Zep by more than 50% in one year through product portfolio management and margin accretive innovation.
  • Spearheaded digital, social, and word of mouth marketing investments to drive trial and awareness that delivered a 30% increase in awareness in less than 6 months.
  • Led enterprise-wide branding initiative across four divisions of a $700M company to align product marketing and demand generation strategies across a complex business that serves B2C and B2B customers.

John Callahan Biography 

John has spent 25 years driving business growth through marketing in B2C and B2B channels through strategic brand management, innovation, sales and retail management with a focus on building sales and marketing teams faster and more profitably than industry standards.  With experience managing both topline and bottom line growth, he has worked with billion-dollar brands, startups companies, and turnaround businesses.  He also has extensive experience working with private equity firms at the board level. 

He has worked with companies including PepsiCo, P&G, and Rubbermaid and covered a diverse range of household name brands including Tropicana, Quaker, Equal, Tide, and Purina as well as challenger brands like Zep, Enforcer, Evercare, and Country Vet and has experience in go to market distribution strategies across a variety of B2C and B2B channels.

John began his career working with Kroger and Walmart, and then pivoted to the manufacturing side after business school.  After starting his marketing career with PepsiCo, John found his passion in working with small to medium sized businesses and challenger brands by positioning those brands to win in the marketplace against much larger national brands.  He has successfully worked in high growth categories as well as commoditized businesses to grow sales and market share. 

Throughout his marketing career, he has managed core businesses as well as innovation teams with full P&L responsibility and is extremely effective at creating order out of chaotic and complex business issues across the value chain from operations to sales.  A balance of creative problem solving and analytical skills has given him the ability to apply his skill set to a variety of situations.

Born and raised in Atlanta, John moved around the country for the first 15 years of his career before settling back in his home town.  As an avid runner, he enjoys competing for fun in anything from 5K to half marathons to recharge as well as stay healthy and resilient.  He also volunteers with a variety of local organizations that support the local community.