Rich DePencier Rich works with founder-led companies, small to mid-size businesses and PE-backed B2C in CPG, Retail, Food & Beverage, Beauty, Home, Healthcare and Travel/Leisure industries to create disruptive growth plans. Rich excels at leading and motivating teams to deliver results through deep insights, strategic plans and executional excellence. Rich’s expertise in omni-channel penetration, new product launches and innovative marketing plans has created a track-record of results across both Fortune 100 and smaller entrepreneurial companies. A passionate brand-builder, Rich builds growth plans that win consumers’ choices across multiple channels and platforms in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. His specialties include building business plans, P&L, leadership, strategy, product innovation, full-stack digital marketing, consumer research, joint ventures, developing people and building high-performing teams.
"I would highly recommend Rich to any company looking for brand and marketing strategy and team leadership. I worked for Rich at Starbucks and then Pacific Marketing International. During that time I gained an appreciation and mentorship of consumer product strategy and team leadership. In particular, Rich is brilliant in developing an insights-driven brand strategy and go-to-market plan. He has all the classic P&G methodology combined with Starbucks servant leadership. Every level of the company will learn a great deal from Rich-- he brings you along on the journey. In summary, he is one of the smartest, nicest guys I have ever worked with."
Todd Olsen, Founder, Olympic Range
"I had the pleasure of working with Rich when we were building the Starbucks international CPG business. It was hard work, as our start point, in spite of the great brand & company, was zero. Markets were identified, prioritized, and plans developed. Operating partners we're selected, contracted and trained. In a short three years, success was achieved across many countries in various product categories -- coffee and ready-to-drink coffee, most notably. Through it all, Rich was the key leader driving not only his team forward, but the larger Starbucks enterprise as well as key staff within the operating partners."
Gerry Lopez, President, Starbucks
"It was a pleasure working with Rich. His passion and international market experiences were the key to the growth of the business. Rich was always able to drive complex business ideas to life by aligning the necessary resources and guiding the team to the right direction. This includes the development of product/marketing plan and go-to-market strategy. Rich is a great leader & mentor in my professional life."
Victor Wong, Chief Operating Officer, TSL Jewelry Limited
"I had a wonderful experience working with Rich in driving innovation across the globe for Starbucks, particularly on two very memorable projects, Discoveries RTD Lattes and VIA Ready Brew. Anyone who has attempted to innovate within a large corporation understands the courage and perseverance it requires to deliver transformative products to market. Rich had that, as well as the credibility, passion, and influence within the company to pull it off. As we in R&D progressed the technology, Rich was our marketing champion who created a compelling business proposition, collaborated with the founder/ceo, and convinced senior leadership. VIA would not have made it to market without Rich’s leadership. He built the business and marketing strategies as well as coached the cross functional teams to success. There were many times when the hurdles seemed insurmountable. While others were ready to “throw in the towel”, Rich continually projected a confidence that inspired us to persevere. His vast experience, knowledge, and optimism made his office a safe haven for those seeking wisdom and advice. Rich is a rare leader that has the vision to balance the need to drive growth through core products while planting the seeds of innovation to be the growth of the future."
Tom Jones, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Clif Bar & Company
"Rich is a charismatic leader with strong passion to grow businesses and create high performance teams. He has a remarkable ability to translate complex insights into practical execution. Though highly versed on consumer marketing and general management, Rich is particularly gifted at driving stakeholders’ support and commitment while managing change and business transformation. As a business partner, I had the privilege to work with him where his clear vision and hands-on partnership empowered the team to own critical decision rights and to fast track execution. I appreciate Rich’s genuine interest to see his team growing professionally; and I personally benefited from his coaching throughout times filled with ambiguity and conflicting priorities. Delivering the numbers and looking at the challenges with a positive mind-set are core elements of his mantra; combined with his sense of humor to build a pleasant team environment."
Diego Gianelli, Vice President of Marketing, Tim Hortons
"I have been working with Rich establishing a business framework and partnership between my company & Starbucks. And also - successfully - introducing a new product category in a number of European markets. It has been a real pleasure working with Rich, as Rich is a real professional in international business and in building strong relations between companies. I have been strongly inspired by Rich's global mindset, and entrepreneurial skills, building lot of new business around the world, connecting with many different business cultures, and still getting the best out of each partnerships - by focusing on what each company are bringing to "the party" - to ensure excellence in execution."
Jørgen Staarup Christensen, Global SVP Marketing, Arla Foods - Denmark
"I have worked with Rich on RTD launch and its continued business growth in Japan over 6 years. Japan is one of the most competitive markets as the product life cycle is so short, and 80% of the products which were launched the beginning of the year would be dropped and replaced by new products by the end of the same year. It was a pleasure to work with Rich who has been always open for our input as he understands the market uniqueness and difference in the retail situation, consumer preference, and competitive landscape. He has built a very strong relationship with Suntory & Aginomoto Foods to grow the business together. I appreciate Rich's leadership style of working together as one team based upon the trust built on the day-to-day communication efforts, as well as respecting the culture nuance and uniqueness of the market."
Hiromi Horie, Marketing Officer, Starbucks Coffee Japan
"It has been a pleasure working with Rich. His talent management skills has engaged and inspired others to bring their best to work, optimizing our team’s performance. While building commitment among us, Rich has fostered a harmonious environment. I would like to highlight his ability to create long-term relationships with customers when building a profitable global business and setting up the pillars for a solid and sustainable growth business case."
Eduardo Andrade, Managing Director, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
"Rich is a strong, strategic, and intuitive leader. He has the traditional consumer products marketing background, but he also a savvy general manager who knows the financial and operational ins and outs of running a business. He has the ability to find great talent, looking beyond the resume and taking chances on generally intelligent people, which results in strong, diverse and unconventional-thinking/operating teams. He communicates senior leadership's goals to his team and creates and implements his overall vision to his team without micro-managing. He challenges his directs to think differently but guides those who need additional help. Rich's intuition extends to the board room as well. He reads people and situations well and thinks quick on his feet to alter his approach when needed. He keeps the consumer and the business/company top of mind and fights for what is right. When senior leadership chooses a different route, Rich does disagree with the strategy, but he will fully commit to the execution of the company's plan. I've seen some of those corporate strategies fail, but Rich maintains his professionalism, never gloats, and gracefully helps the company rebound."
Quinn Lynch, VP of International, TATCHA
"It was an exciting experience to work with Rich as his passion for innovation enabled the team to come up with new ideas & execute against it. If you're a marketer that likes to challenge status quo & launch new products that change the market paradigm, Rich is a great leader to work for & with."
Tomoko Toyota, Director, Brooks Running Shoes
"Rich is a best-in-class business executive, savvy marketer and dedicated team leader. He has a proven track record of successfully launching innovative products with award-winning marketing campaigns globally. Rich always brings an inspired vision, clear strategies and the willingness to empower his team & help break down barriers. I highly recommend Rich, an engaged leader who knows how to inspire a team and deliver impressive business results."
Heather Caterson, Director, T-Mobile
"Rich is a solid leader that brings both passion and vision. From the first conversation I had with Rich, I wanted to work with him. He's a very thoughtful coach and guide. It's fun to work with a leader who has your back, promotes your successes, and acknowledges your efforts."
Mike Rojewski, Vice President Sales, Zak Designs
"Rich is very dedicated and passionate leader. I learned a lot about brand strategy and direction. He always support each personal career development and provide detail guidance. He is a good listener and always encourage team for new ideas."
Grace Kim, Product Manager, Pacific Market International
"During the years I worked with Rich in P&G, he demonstrated to be a trusted leader and coach, who continuously gets results by empowering his people. He gets involved, coaches very effectively and rewards his people, but he is also always ready to get himself in "the front line of the battlefield" whenever necessary. He has a very sharp focus and a strong discipline and ability to ensure successful execution. While working together, Rich did an excellent job to build the Beauty Care business. He created a truly compelling brand vision for Cover Girl, sold his vision to upper management, and executed flawlessly, growing the brand to #1 market leadership. Within P&G, this was recognized (and frequently shared with multiple global teams), as a "best in class" model for how to "localize" an iconic US brand through the use of locally relevant consumer and trade insights. Based on his results and his strengths (which I truly believe are transferable across many businesses/categories, countries and cultures), I truly believe Richard would be a great asset to any company (I would hire him myself immediately if I had one at this time)."
Lu Mendoza, Entrepreneur, Former VP/GM, Procter & Gamble
"Rich was accountable for P&L of 12 P&G brands and led very successfully. Key accomplishments included growing the Cover Girl brand by +50% using Puerto Rico as a test market for the Latin America region. Rich also left his mark on our largest category, Fabric Care, where he was the driving force behind Tide's (market leader) "Pride in Whites" advertising campaign which continued to build the business years after, winning P&G's CMO "World Class Marketing Program". Rich was also heavily involved in building our organizational capability including his leadership of the Marketing dept's Functional Training, Recruiting efforts and New Hire Program. Rich is deeply committed to building teams and brands and has a proven track record both in the US and internationally."
Graciela C. Eleta, Vice Chair Board Of Directors, Foundation for Puerto Rico, Former VP/GM, Procter & Gamble
"I had the opportunity to work with Rich, as his Human Resources Manager. Here is what stands out about him: 1) He is passionate about marketing and working with customers, 2) He cares deeply about the people he works with, 3) He engages and collaborates with all of the resources available to help build the business, and 4) He was a great leader to partner with, as he valued my expertise and was receptive to my coaching. Because of our strong working relationship, we have kept in touch through the years!"
Janet Burandt, HR Director (retired), Procter & Gamble
"Rich is a passionate leader. He was charged with centrally leading all of the U.S. Shopper Marketing work for P&G. He created a wonderful community of excellence and guided the advancement of the Shopper at P&G during a critically important time. Since his time at P&G, he has also done tremendous work in the coffee category. I would strongly recommend Rich for an Executive Marketing/CMO role."
Dina Howell-DR, Board Member & Strategic Advisor, Spin Master, VP (Retired), Procter & Gamble
"Rich's leadership and insights laid the foundation for the P&G and Kroger marketing partnership that resulted in years of strong growth. Rich worked closely with Kroger President Don McGeorge and the P&G multifunctional team to develop and deliver concepts that are still enabling strong results today. Rich had vision and was a willing partner."
Tim O’Neill, Director, Procter & Gamble
"I have partnered with Rich as he has grown our consumer goods businesses across joint ventures, licensing, co-manufacturers and distributors. Rich has consistently demonstrated the ability to take an idea or concept from strategic assessment, through partner selection / product commercialization, consummation of partnership agreements, new market or product launch, on to ongoing management and growth of an existing business. His ability to represent both the interests of his own internal stakeholders while concurrently developing mutually-beneficial business propositions and building strong working relationships with external partners is a key to his success. Rich has a high level of credibility with both internal and external stakeholders, as he has deep experience in the industry across multiple geographies, is adapted to changing business dynamics, fosters open dialogue and leads with integrity. Through his commercial and financial acumen, Rich is able to rapidly assimilate multiple considerations in evaluating an opportunity, isolate the key drivers of success and formulate the magnitude of the opportunity. With this in hand, he is able to effectively communicate the priority within the organization to secure resources. Rich is an experienced executive in development, leadership and management of a portfolio of businesses. It has been a pleasure working alongside Rich, and I would welcome the opportunity to do so in the future."
Mike Yeager, Global Finance VP, Starbucks Coffee Company
"Rich is a very seasoned and passionate global consumer product goods leader. I have worked close with Rich over many years and helped him and his teams establish some world class partnerships for launching, developing, manufacturing and distributing iconic Starbucks products. Atypically, Rich has built the business for Starbucks in the past 5 years with very limited resources and has done this through building a very effective lean global team, managing and leveraging partnerships with world class organizations and establishing and leading a lean innovation and product development process and team. In spite of these constraints, he has built the business into what is now a key global growth vehicle for the company. He leads courageously, by example, and with great conviction, while always coaching and developing and this is why his teams are so loyal and motivated. He is pleasure to work with and someone from whom I have learned a lot."
Joe Canterbury, President and Co-Founder, Pacific Springboard