Amway Restructure Corporate Team After Revenue Drops
After seven years as Amway's chief marketing officer, Candace Matthews will now oversee operations in North and South America. Her promotion to regional president of the Americas comes as the corporate giant is making several changes at the executive level, including adding a chief operating officer position to oversee its leadership team.
Former Chief Financial Officer Michael Cazer will take that position, assuming some of the responsibilities previously handled by Bill Payne, who has shifted from chief of staff to vice-chairman of the corporate board.
Matthews describes the changes as leveraging the talent and skills of its executive team to strengthen the company, which last week reported that 2014 revenues fell 8 percent because of fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates.
For me, this is an exciting time for Amway as we look forward toward our future vision, Matthews said. She took over the regional presidency in November after the departure of Tanios Viviani, who held post for three years after joining Amway from Chiquita Brands.
The last months have been a whirlwind for Matthews as she has taken on new responsibilities while continuing her global marketing duties. She made the CMO handoff in early January when South Korean native Su-Jung Bae, was promoted to replace her. A 20-year veteran of Amway, Bae previously served as CMO of the Asia Pacific region.
She is phenomenal, Matthews said of her successor, who will lead global strategy for marketing of the company's nutrition, beauty and home brands. Bae will also lead the teams for the Amway brand, corporate social responsibility and public relations.
Matthews' operational experience comes from her time running a global division at L'Oreal USA before coming to Amway in 2007. There, she served as president of SoftSheen-Carson, a consumer products division of the French cosmetics giant.
The focus on marketing brought me to Amway as they were really trying to develop that discipline in this company, said Matthews, adding that she was thrilled to make the switch to overseeing operations because it would give her an opportunity to use another skill set.
Amway divides its global market into four regions. The largest is China, followed by Asia Pacific, and lastly the Americas and Europe, which are about the same size, in terms of annual sales. As a regional president, Matthews will spend more time traveling as she focuses on developing relationships with Amway distributors, now known globally as Amway Business Owners or ABOs.
The biggest difference is with CMO, I spent a lot of time with brand strategy and new product development, working on what was to come in future years, Matthews said. In this role, it is how to bring that to life with our ABOs, focusing more on what is happening with them and how to build their businesses – not only from a strategic standpoint but from an execution standpoint.
With the exception of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos, Matthews has been the company's biggest headline maker. The veteran executive has been lauded in AdAge, Forbes, Black Enterprise and Working Mother magazines.
Her rise up the corporate ladder is chronicled in the recent edition of Forefront Magazine. The Pittsburgh native earned a scholarship to Carnegie-Mellon University to study engineering, and later graduated from Stanford University with an MBA before working for a string of corporate giants including General Mills, Coca Cola Company and Procter & Gamble.
Matthews is also well-known in West Michigan for her volunteer work with foundations and nonprofits. A busy travel itinerary won't be enough to pull Matthews back from her community work in West Michigan. I'm still heavily engaged in the community, said Matthews. My husband and I are co-chairs of the Helen DeVos charity fundraiser.
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