Navigating a company through unknown waters – jepson

Navigating a company through unknown waters – jepson

Since becoming president and chief operating officer of The Sherwin-Williams Company in March, Heidi Petz, ’97, has overseen the business operations of the well-known paint and coating products company. No small feat, as the 156-year-old global company generated more than $19.9 billion in revenue last year; operates more than 4,500 stores in the US, Canada and the Caribbean; employs more than 61,000 people; and serves customers in more than 120 countries.

Pretty much everything about running a business — from understanding profit and loss to consumer psychology, corporate culture and team engagement — fascinates her, Petz said.

“I like designing and building – I like the choreography,” she said. “I like to create momentum.”

The manager pointed to her employees as the key to success: “I surround myself with really smart people and win with them. To get the best out of my team members, I have to adapt to them, and they to me. It starts with my awareness and willingness to meet my team members where they are.”

Petz brings more than 25 years of business experience to her new position. She has held marketing, sales and financial leadership positions at major companies including Newell Rubbermaid, Target and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In 2013, she became vice president of marketing for the Consumer Group of Valspar, a paint and coatings company acquired by Sherwin-Williams in 2017. She grew steadily within Valspar, becoming senior vice president of marketing, then president of the Consumer Brands Group, then senior vice president of sales and marketing for paint stores at The Americas Group, and then president of The Americas Group.

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