Spotted: The Anti-CEO playbook

10 Jun 2019 | WorkLife

Spotted: The Anti-CEO playbook

By Laura Giffard

Chobani. Delicious yoghurt, adored by healthy eaters, with a truly admirable success story (it’s the #1 selling strained yoghurt brand in the US!)

But until today I hadn’t realised what lay behind this brand’s enviable success: the CEO’s resolute belief in what employees can achieve when someone champions them.

Hamdi Ulukaya started up Chobani by snapping up a dairy factory that had recently been closed by Kraft and rehiring the original team. A fresh lick of paint signalled to employees and the world that this factory was back in business - and the rest, as they say, is history.

What really strikes me about the Chobani story is that big business had given up on its people, but Hamdi proved that the problem lay with leadership, not the team.

All too often I’ve seen people overlooked for jobs and promotions because of age, gender and differing abilities. Leadership making snap decisions that their teams are no longer relevant. But Chobani is proof that teamwork and a shared vision drive real success, for business and local communities alike.

In his inspiring TED talk, Hamdi invites us all to embrace what he calls the anti-ceo playbook: an uncompromising belief in people over profit. A world where employee needs come before stakeholder needs.

I’m in. Are you?

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