RETAIL AND CONSUMER PRODUCTS, FINALIST
John Foraker, CEO of Annie’s Inc., has created a culture centered on the concept of doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. Foraker’s culture and vision have helped build the company into a leading provider of natural and organic foods. Hand in hand with the culture and vision at Annie’s is the team that Foraker assembled. The company would not have been able to achieve its growth and success to date without high-quality individuals executing at a high level and helping to sustain the company’s culture of integrity.
Foraker seeks to surround himself with the best people in all aspects of the business, from the management team to business partners and investors. Annie’s management team has been working together for an average of eight years.
The familiarity of the team has also helped Foraker develop innovation as a central component of how Annie’s does business. From new product lines to the use of social media platforms, Foraker challenges his team to think in new ways. Foraker’s company was an early adopter of Facebook and Twitter as tools to connect directly with consumers and was using connectivity devices such as BlackBerry cell phones much earlier than other companies.
With the innovation comes growth, and that has been Foraker’s biggest recent challenge. He has to manage an organization that is growing very quickly, continuing to stimulate growth while not allowing the organization to lose its focus or become shortsighted. Foraker sets that tone by example. When company representatives were invited to the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell as part of marking the company’s IPO, Foraker immediately ﬂew back to headquarters and resumed focusing on driving the company’s success.
HOW TO REACH: Annie’s Inc., www.annies.com