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WW CEO on succeeding: Surround yourself with 'incredible talent' and make others successful

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

WW International CEO Mindy Grossman didn’t magically get the top job at the weight management giant. Nor was she handed prior top executive roles.

Grossman just flat out went after it, listened to her many mentors and built strong teams. And today, she is not only viewed as a best-in-class female CEO (in a world with far too little female CEOs) but a best-in-class CEO.

“What is really important — I wouldn’t necessarily say courage and bravery — but risk taking and bold thinking has always been something I always put forward,” Grossman told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade about her rise to the very top of the C-suite. “I think the second reason is I have always been confident in surrounding myself with incredible talent. And I have focused on making others successful and by doing that ultimately, I have had greater success.”

WW International CEO Mindy Grossman participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
WW International CEO Mindy Grossman participates in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Grossman was named CEO of then Weight Watchers in April 2017, after years of successfully building the modern day HSN Inc. as CEO. She even took HSN public in 2008 after being given the keys to the kingdom by IAC Interactive (former parent company of HSN) chief and mentor Barry Diller.

Prior to joining HSN, Grossman worked closely with retail titans Ralph Lauren (Polo Ralph Lauren), Tommy Hilfiger and Phil Knight (Nike) in leadership positions at their global retail powerhouses. Grossman adds that some of her best mentors were in fact males such as Diller and Knight.

Grossman has walked the talk on diversity as WW CEO. The company’s board of directors is comprised of six men, six women (two Black women, one being spokesperson and shareholder Oprah Winfrey). WW’s executive team is over 50% female.

“There are diverse voices and thought at the table so we can have productive discomfort. And that’s why companies that are more diverse ultimately will have longer term, sustainable success,” Grossman says.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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