Anyone who’s worked at a great company knows it’s all about the people. Good managers, great leaders - in and beyond the business. Through conversations with P&G Alumni leaders, we go deeper with the leaders you know, but want to know more about. This is Learnings from Leaders: the P&G Alumni Podcast. pgalums.com/podcast
Learnings from Leaders is a production of the P&G Alumni Network (pgalums.com) — an officially recognized, global nonprofit by former P&G’ers committed to community, enrichment, and philanthropy. With more than 45,000 members worldwide, the Network connects through global conferences, local chapters, industry events, and online content. Our nonprofit Foundation supports economic empowerment in communities around the world.
Ana Maria Henao, PepisCo’s VP of Global Marketing Excellence
“Approach life as a lifelong learning journey. Be curious enough to really ask why - as that wisdom has no expiration date.”
Ana Maria Henao is PepsiCo’s Global Marketing VP, leading the Marketing Excellence and Partnership Strategies across both food and beverages for PepsiCo globally, reporting to the Global CMO. Ana Maria has over 22 years of Marketing experience, having started her career at P&G in Bogota, Colombia, as an ABM in detergents. Having worked in a variety of roles across developed and emerging markets. Ana Maria led the development of mainstream and luxury brands, turning around businesses and leading acquisitions, while transforming commercial functions to embrace the challenges of the digital era. Originally from Colombia, Ana Maria currently lives in Miami with her husband and two children. In this candid conversation you’ll enjoy hearing about wisdom vs intelligence, being curious, and choosing to be a protagonist.
K Patrick Davis: Blue Buffalo VP & General Manager at Blue Buffalo
“No question, you have to speak up. Because I know people spoke up for me and questioned incorrect assumptions or bias in the room.”
K. Patrick Davis is the VP and General Manager for Blue Buffalo, the #1 natural pet food brand in the US, and now General Mills largest brand. Previously Patrick was Henkel’s SVP and Head of US Laundry & Home Care — working on brands like All, Snuggle, Persil, and Renuzit — where he also functioned as the division CMO. Patrick also spent ten years as VP + General Manager at Georgia Pacific - leading work on many of the company's largest brands and retailers. And of course, Patrick got his start at P&G - spending nearly a decade in marketing and sales - working on teams like Crest and Walmart. Patrick received his MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied business science at The University of South Carolina at Columbia. For 30 years, Patrick’s been a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, continuing to serve as a local officer — and he’s also an active mentor to young men of color through the Kappa League program. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three sons. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about authenticity , connection, respect — and speaking up.
Katie Couric, TV Journalist, Producer, & Author
Katie Couric is renowned and award-winning journalist, producer, and best-selling author. Katie is currently the Founder of Katie Couric Media, a multimedia news and production company. Katie also publishes the daily newsletter "Wake Up Call" From 2013 to 2017, Katie was Yahoo's Global News Anchor. Katie has been a host on all 3 major US TV networks — NBC News from 1989 to 2006, CBS News from 2006 to 2011, and ABC News from 2011 to 2014 — and in her early career she was an assignment editor for CNN. In addition to her TV news anchor roles , Katie has also hosted the Today show and 60 Minutes, and in 2004 Katie was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
In this conversation from the 2021 P&G Alumni Global Conference, Katie sat down with Marc Pritchard, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer, to share their vision of a fairer and more equitable world through media and advertising. Katie speaks of the importance of accurate portrayals, images, and representation — influenced by the work of Mahzarin Banaji - who we’ve also featured on this podcast — on how our brains are hardwired to make associations and connections. Katie spoke of growing up with women only portrayed as stay-at-home moms and having to insist that she would not just cover cooking or fashion shows. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation between two of the industries’ biggest leaders in media - on the importance of change - and understanding.
Vivek Sunder: Cuemath CEO
“Tech will do everything - but it won’t make you a better human. Use technology to get less busy and focus on being a better human, and the world will be a better place.”
Vivek Sunder is CEO of Cuemath - the education technology company whose mission is to make the world’s children great at math — to create invincible problem-solvers who will go on to solve humanity’s biggest problems. Vivek’s been in the lead of the India-based company since 2021 - with aims to scale the business globally. Prior to leading Cuemath, Vivek served as COO of Swiggy - India’s leading online delivery service - helping the company scale from good to great, to 500+ cities in 18 months - especially during the global pandemic. Vivek also spent twenty years at P&G in various capacities across developing markets (India, Africa) as well as developed markets (UK, Singapore, Korea) and hybrid markets (China, Thailand, Malaysia). Vivek is passionate about building organizational capability and has a proven track record of creating better business results via more capable teams - spanning 20+ nationalities - from new country startups to traditional business unit roles. Vivek is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, and prior to that studied Computer Engineering from Delhi University. He is a regular guest lecturer at his alma mater IIM-C, as well at other premier B-schools across the world where he teaches and shares business expertise. Vivek speaks six languages, and has a passion for photography with work featured in global media outlets like National Geographic, the BBC, and ET. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about the intersection of technology, business, and behavioral psychology.
Poliana Sousa, Latin America’s Coca-Cola™ Lead
“You need other people — work well with others and learn from them. The more you grow, the more you realize you don't get anything done alone.”
Poliana Sousa is Latin America’s Coca-Cola™ Lead, which includes communication strategy and innovation in 39 countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Poliana also plays a key role in the brand’s long-term strategic planning and leads key global projects as part of the Global Coca-Cola network. Before joining Coca-Cola, Poliana held several leadership positions at Procter & Gamble for nearly 20 years — her roles included Marketing, Brand Communications and Media Director in Brazil, and on brands such as Gillette, Pampers, and Oral-B. Poliana has a degree in Business Administration from Iowa State University and an MBA from Xavier University. She has received several industry awards including Forbes' Best 10 CMOs in Brazil (2020) and 10 Most Admired Executives in Brazil by Agency Scope (2020). You’ll enjoy this authentic and vulnerable conversation about overcoming big changes, imposter syndrome, and adversity - to persevere and thrive at work and life.
Jakub Kocinski, Digital Safety & Trust - from P&G to Google TikTok, Meta, and beyond
“Leading in social media and fighting bad actors - these problems didn’t always exist. It's fascinating how quickly things change.”
Jakub Kocinski is a Digital Safety & Trust leader - with experiences across P&G, Google TikTok, and Meta — where he’s held responsibility for a wide array of key issues of digital platform integrity. Prior to his most recent role of Responsible Innovation at Meta - Jakub served as Director of Trust & Safety at ByteDance, the company behind the popular app TikTok. Prior to Bytedance, Jakub spent 6 years building and leading Trust & Safety in Google focusing on Gmail, Google accounts security as well as a wide portfolio of Google products. Jakub started his career at Procter & Gamble in 10 years across eCommerce and IT operations, Jakub was born in Poland and completed his Computer Science Masters at Technical University of Gdańsk followed by an MBA at Kozminski University in Warsaw. A family man, Jakub enjoys being outdoors and tinkering with the latest gadgets to automate - or complicate his life. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about the importance of digital safety and trust - but also the importance of responsible innovation we must all bring to our work.
Great to hear prior colleagues and leaders share their words of wisdom and personal stories. It IS like having a cup of coffee with so many wise and great people!
Pepper and Polman exceptional. Enjoyed hearing the stories of other successful leaders too.
Engaging and inspirational
Great job bringing in a breath of alumni with such varied experiences. Feel a stronger connection to the Company with each episode. Very inspirational, but an easier listen than many of my “heavier” podcasts lately! Thanks!