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Sep 24, 2019

There’s an old saying that “leaders are born, not made.” That might be true, but even for the most innate leaders, wouldn’t it be helpful to learn from others’ experiences? Alan Murray thought so. As a young executive working for carton manufacturer Tetra Pak, Alan wrote a guide for people in similar roles about how to lead effectively and position themselves for success. 

The guide has served as the foundation for Murray’s career; after a tenure as CEO of Tetra Pak North America, he is now the CEO of Next Foods, the maker of probiotic-infused food and beverage brand GoodBelly. In an interview included in this episode, Murray spoke about his approach to leadership, including how to manage people that might be smarter than you, and the three critical things that he believes all successful CEOs should master. Later, he discussed GoodBelly’s influence on the evolution of the probiotic food category, how the brand has refined its positioning and communication strategy and what elicited the company’s partnership with General Mills.

Show notes: 

2:51: Interview: Alan Murray, CEO, GoodBelly -- Murray sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif at Natural Products Expo East 2019 for a conversation that began with his passion for surfing and the unusual way that he landed a job at Unilever. He also discussed how ambition and leverage played into his first CEO role at Tetra Pak, how observing others helped frame his own leadership style, and why sitting at the reception desk and hanging out by the coffee machine is key to understanding company dynamics. Later, he explained why it’s important to have a global perspective, what motivated him to join GoodBelly, how the company has honed in on its core consumers, why better food is critical to reducing health care costs, and why he believes that it’s incumbent upon consumers to ask doctors about healthy eating habits.

Brands in this episode: GoodBelly, Silk, Whitewave Foods