Russ is a partner in The Partnering Group, consulting with both manufacturers and retailers.
Partner Capabilities and Experience:
Russ is a proven leader of high performance teams with a track record of achievement in the CPG industry from the perspectives of manufacturers, retailers, and service providers. He is known for his expertise in synthesizing category, consumer, and shopper insights to create innovative concepts and go-to-market solutions that drive breakthrough results.
Recent consulting work includes the development and launch of strategic Category Leadership platforms in Single Cup Hot Beverages and Total Water. Russ has led shopper research and its application to aisle and shelf reconfigurations in a variety of complex categories such as Baby Food, Pet Needs, Spices & Seasonings, Spirits, Nutritional Bars & Shakes, Digestive Health, Ready to Eat Fresh Vegetables & Salads, and Frozen Pizza, Meals, and Snacks. As a manufacturer, he successfully led the insights and activation plan to create a new Cooking Sauce category in center store with Campbell Soup and a dedicated Ice Cream Cup door with Nestlé USA to support critical innovation efforts at each company.
Russ has put together a consortium of 3 leading manufacturers to develop and test an innovative, need-state driven, e-commerce shopping experience with a leading U.S. retailer. Earlier in his career at IRI, he worked closely with TPG and led a dedicated on-site team of 12 members to implement the most ambitious Category Management initiative of its time: Safeway’s Category Optimization Program (SCOP), which involved ongoing involvement from over 50 manufacturer category captains.
Partner Industry Experience:
Russ was an independent consultant and a minority owner and general manager of a shopper research company for the last 3 years. Prior to that he had 15 years of experience at IRI in a variety of senior roles spanning manufacturer client service, retail execution, and business development. He joined Nestlé’s US Ice Cream division at headquarters and established a centralized Category Leadership & Shopper Insights function with a 40-member team covering retailers in all classes of trade. Following Nestlé, he joined the Campbell Soup Company in a newly created role of VP Shopper & Category Strategy, and led a team of 50 professionals responsible for all business units at Campbell Soup North America and Pepperidge Farm across the functional areas of Shopper Insights, Category Strategy, Sales Analytics, and Category & Customer Solutions.
Russ holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Stanford University.