1. Robert K. Fitzgerald
• 415-419-4542 • email@example.com
Web site case histories: http://www.benchstrengthteam.com/case_histories.html
Classically trained consumer products executive. Directed sales and profit growth in diversified roles
including corporate marketing, general management with P&L responsibility, and advertising agency
account management. Extensive experience with categories including food, beverage, HBA,
cameras/film, consumer papers, and automotive aftermarket products selling into distribution channels
including grocery, drug, mass merchandisers, superstores, convenience stores, specialty retail, and export.
Core competencies: P&L and budget management; strategic and marketing plans; all aspects of branding
(research, positioning, advertising, promotion, pricing, media planning, sponsorships, licensing,
packaging, point-of-sale, sales collateral/training materials, direct response, interactive); leadership of
cross-functional teams including marketing, direct and external sales, operations, customer service,
purchasing, finance, advertising agencies, consultants, packaging design firms; new product development.
• Developed national and account specific, consumer and foodservice trade programs for the
Coca-Cola Fountain Sales Department which drove the #1 share positions of Coke, Diet Coke,
and Sprite. Developed and executed “Summer Cup Promotion” and new in-store merchandising
system which increased Fountain Beverage sales 8+% at Foodservice Retail outlets.
• Director of Marketing and Product Development for Brach’s Confections, Inc., a $300 million
candy company. Developed 7 new products. Developed promotions integrating messaging on
packaging and web site. Sales increased 8.7% vs. prior year.
• Managed Consumer Advertising Group at Polaroid Corporation which was awarded the
Advertising Age “campaign of the year” for the new product launch of Sun Camera and
600 Speed Film brands which achieved sales of $500+ million. Project leader of cross-functional
team which developed promotion with Delta Airlines increasing Christmas seasonal sales 12%.
• Director of Marketing for the Home & Office Papers Division of International Paper. Led a
new, research-driven, marketing focus to develop proprietary consumer brands competing against
Kodak, HP, and Avery. Re-positioned/launched 6 brands. Developed digital promotions and new
usage application messaging integrated with loyalty magazine which built $10 million InventIt!
brand. Total Division revenues increased $600 million and EBIT improved $50 million.
• Director of Marketing for AutoZone. Initiated a sports marketing program for the $4.7 billion
retail business targeting DIY consumers, generating incremental sales of over $20 million.
Repositioned the $750 million B2B division and increased sales 11% vs. category growth of 5%.
• SVP Marketing & Product Development for Coni-Seal, an automotive aftermarket distributor and
manufacturer. Developed new, premium branded product line and marketing programs for the
value line including promotions which achieved up to 145% lift in category sales.
• Directed a $74 million private equity portfolio company competing in consumer snack nuts
against Planters. Role included individual responsibility for maximizing share of category
planogram and promotions calendar at national accounts including Kmart, Walgreens, Fleming
Foods. Built gift pack program which grew to $8 million. Increased total sales 57% while
category sales decreased 9%. Successfully sold company for 10x return on equity investment.
Advertising Agency Account Management:
• Vice President at SSC&B, Benton & Bowles, and Hill Holliday. Directed CPG accounts
including Johnson & Johnson, General Foods, Carnation Company, and Van de Kamp’s
Frozen Foods. Launched 1-2-3 PC Software for Lotus Development Corporation.
• Consulted on several food product engagements
2. Robert K. Fitzgerald, page 2 of 4
BENCH$TRENGTH, Principal, Mill Valley, CA Current
Marketing consulting focused in CPG and B2B categories.
CONI-SEAL, SVP Marketing and Product Development, Lakewood, NJ 2008 - 2010
Recruited to lead development of premium product line and marketing, product development,
and customer service for the value line core business. Managed 11 professionals.
• Executed comprehensive plan for new brand launch including installer research, internal brainstorming, concept
development; logo, tagline, package design; business and marketing plans.
• Developed promotions which achieved up to 145% lift in category sales.
• Developed brand / corporate communications including an advertorial video featured in The Economic Report
and company web site.
• Doubled sku’s for brake/clutch hydraulics. Developed advertising, direct mail, and promotion to support launch.
• Participated in new business team which won O’Reilly account for brake and clutch hydraulics and chassis
contributing to 50% increase in total sales.
BRACH’S, Director of Marketing and Product Development, Dallas, TX 2007
Led a department of 10 marketing and R&D professionals for a $300 million confectionery company
including four business units: staple, seasonal, fruit snacks, and bulk. Position was eliminated when
Brach’s was acquired by Farley’s & Sathers.
• Developed 2 staple, 3 seasonal, and 2 fruit snack products.
• Successfully tested a new rack prototype and branding initiative for the bulk business which increased sales per
square foot by 148% vs. prior year average.
BENCH$TRENGTH, Principal, Memphis, TN 2006
Conducted due diligence for a food company acquisition (candy) and a new food business start-up
AUTOZONE, Director of Marketing, Memphis, TN 2003 - 2005
Directed marketing support of the $750 million B2B division and negotiation/activation of sports
sponsorships for the $4.7 billion retail business targeting DIY consumers.
• Directed marketing supporting AutoZone Commercial. Developed repositioning strategy based on competitive
analysis and a category attribute study. Developed new programs for batteries, brake pads, and tiered pricing; a
dedicated website portal; and, promotions. Commercial sales grew 11% while Category sales increased 5%.
• Activated sponsorships with NASCAR and The Liberty Bowl Football Classic with consumer grassroots and
national promotions, including tie-ins with NASCAR Day and Coca-Cola, which grew sales by $20+ million.
INTERNATIONAL PAPER, Director of Marketing, Memphis, TN 1999 - 2002
Recruited to turn around an unprofitable division by emphasizing proprietary consumer brands. Built a
marketing department of 36 including 5 direct reports representing brand and trade marketing, consumer
research, packaging, and manufacturing coordination. Directed advertising, packaging design agencies.
Turned around a $40 million annual loss to a $10 million profit, however, our business model was
terminated during a corporate restructuring and our lead team, including myself, was down-sized.
• Improved margin mix by increasing revenues from $6 million to $32 million on Specialty products and from
$82 million to $165 million on total Value Added products.
• Executed broad consumer research program: focus groups, in-depth personal interviews, annual AAU tracking
studies, attribute/market structure mapping, strategic concept testing, advertising/packaging tests, product
placement studies, exit interviews/mystery shoppers at retail, and analysis of syndicated databases (CAPV and
NPD). Leveraged this consumer insight to: launch Jet Print Photo ($18 million sales) and Specially Yours
greeting card papers ($3 million sales); and, to reposition Invent It! (+$5 million sales), Great White (consumer
sales grew $16 million) and Hammermill (value added sales grew $41 million).
• Project Leader for cross-functional program which achieved $40 million in earnings improvements.
3. Robert K. Fitzgerald, page 3 of 4
FLAVOR HOUSE PRODUCTS, INC., President & CEO, Dothan, AL 1989 - 1998
Recruited as President by private equity ownership to grow snack nut company to a critical mass which
would position it for sale. Promoted to President/CEO in January, 1993. Directed VP’s of regional sales,
marketing, manufacturing, distribution, quality control, purchasing, finance and a total workforce of 200.
Primary sales contact at 6 national accounts including Kmart, Walgreens, and Fleming Foods with $20-
$25 million in annual sales.
• Successfully sold company for 10x return on equity investment.
• Increased sales 57% from $47 million to $74 million. Increased number of accounts from 27 to 57.
• Responsible for overall P&L and achieved a record number of 10 consecutive quarters of on-budget profit
performance in a volatile, commodity-driven category. Achieved record Net Income of 4.3%.
• Developed new products including Party Mix, Christmas Gift Packs, and Mug ‘O Nuts. Installed a new flexible
packaging line and a new line to double roast honey roasted nuts. First in category to introduce plastic (vs.
glass) jars and lighter weight, composite cans, both with recyclable material.
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, Group Marketing Manager, Atlanta, GA 1986 - 1988
Recruited to develop customized, value added marketing programs for specific Fountain Sales National
Accounts. Promoted to lead development of boilerplate programs for all local and national accounts.
• Leveraged syndicated and proprietary research to maximize sales of Coca-Cola brands in foodservice accounts.
Developed consumer programs by daypart, channel, point of purchase (drive-thru, carry out, eat-in), to
maximize oz./transaction and purchase incidence.
• Created new merchandising display system which increased space allocated to Coca-Cola messages and
mnemonic design element (“Coke &”) which standardized p-o-s/collateral materials within a common
campaign theme and design treatment contributing to a 12% increase in sales.
• Developed and executed “Summer Cup” national consumer promotion with alliance partner MTV, increasing
summer sales 8%.
• Developed “Channel Module Books” (sales training/local sales support materials).
• Directed “Commitment Not Competition” trade campaign vs. Pepsi-Co.
• Managed 3 marketing managers and one purchasing manager; dotted line responsibility for internal creative
group; directed marketing consultants.
POLAROID CORPORATION, Senior Advertising Manager, Cambridge, MA
• Developed the Sun Camera and 600 Speed Film lines by leveraging qualitative focus groups and quantitative
research including AAU tracking studies, diary panels and advertising testing. Sales grew to $500+ million.
• Developed and executed consumer promotion with Delta Airlines increasing Christmas season sales 12%.
• Directed Doyle, Dane, Bernbach advertising agency.
ADVERTISING AGENCY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT: VP, Account Supervisor at
SSC&B and Benton & Bowles, NY, NY / Los Angeles, CA; VP, Management Supervisor at
Hill Holliday, Boston, MA
• Accounts (Brands) directed: Johnson & Johnson (Baby Shampoo); General Foods (Grape Nuts Flakes, new
products); Van de Kamp’s Frozen Foods (seafood, pizza lines); Carnation Company (Instant Breakfast,
Breakfast Bars, CoffeeMate, Contadina Tomato Sauces, Specialty Foods).
• New Products developed: line extended Grape Nuts with Grape Nuts Flakes (General Foods Cereals);
introduced batter dipped frozen seafood, “zesty seasoned” line of breaded, frozen seafood, and a line of frozen
pizza (Van de Kamp’s Frozen Foods); introduced Contadina concentrated tomato sauces, Snack Links Vienna
Sausages (Carnation Company); line extended Instant Breakfast and Breakfast Bars (Carnation Company).
MS New York University Graduate School of Business Administration
BA Princeton University
4. Robert K. Fitzgerald, page 4 of 4
New Product /Line Extension/ Repositioning Experience
• Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo: Developed and executed segmentation strategy extending
brand’s “gentleness” benefit from niche baby product to shampoo uniquely positioned against special
hair care needs of four separate target segments: adult women, adult men, teenage girls, women 50+.
• Grape Nuts Flakes (General Foods): Line-extended “natural goodness” positioning of flagship
Grape Nuts. Research indicated “hard” texture of Grape Nuts narrowed brand appeal, implying an
opportunity for a “flake” formulation with softer texture. Also, positioned against special needs of
women by leveraging specific nutritional additives (e.g., iron).
• Van de Kamp’s Frozen Seafood: Research indicated opportunities to overcome dislikes of frozen
seafood (soggy texture, bland taste) with 1. Batter dipped line; and, 2. “zesty seasoned” line.
• Carnation Instant Breakfast and Breakfast Bars: Repositioned both brands switching primary
benefit emphasis from convenient nutrition to great taste. Research had indicated reason for declining
sales was linked to flavor boredom and competition from new sources of convenient nutrition. Line
extended both lines with new, more enticing flavors and corresponding packaging, advertising.
• 1-2-3 PC Software: Two-step campaign to launch new consumer software package. First step was
to attract early adaptors to the fledgling category. Second step was to differentiate 1-2-3 brand vs.
competitors with heavy reliance on PC magazine awards and other industry honors.
• Polaroid Sun Cameras and 600 Speed Film: Research had indicated the cause of decline in film
usage was related to limited number and type of camera use occasions (primarily special event and
indoor related). Previous camera line was perceived as more “toy like” and not for serious
photographers. Developed new camera line with hi-tech styling, advanced electronics, and higher
speed film. Combination of advanced electronics and higher speed film was positioned as the “Light
Management System” providing sharper, brighter photographs capable of excellent results indoors
and outdoors. Launch supported by Jim Garner / Mariette Hartley television campaign.
• Flavor House Products: Developed series of higher margin new products including: Party Mix
(mix of peanuts, sesame sticks, and pretzels in re-useable plastic canisters); Christmas Gift Packs (2
or 3 items packaged in a decorative holiday packaging sleeve with a bundled price); flexible
packaging line (bags); new “double roasted” formulation of honey roasted peanuts; first in category to
leverage nitrogen flushing process to introduce plastic (vs. glass) jars and lighter weight, composite
cans, both with recyclable material.
• International Paper: New Products included Jet Print Photo (first to offer different paper grade
quality options positioned against specific uses); Specially Yours greeting card papers (first to
provide broad variety of papers for different occasions, styles). Re-positioned flagship Hammermill
(positioned against intended use vs. printer equipment, i.e., laser, jet print, copier); Great White
(recycled paper); and Invent It! (crafting “media” vs. computer papers).
• Brach’s Confections, Inc.: Developed 2 staple, 3 seasonal, and 2 fruit snack products. Staple
included two licensed energy products. Seasonal included flavor extensions (Chocolate Caramel
Candy Corn and Chocolate Cherry Cordial Nougats) and a new form of Candy Corn (Gummi Candy
Corn). Fruit Snacks included a “no sugar added” product and another competing against Yogos.
• Coni-Seal Intelligent Parts: Developed a higher margin, premium quality automotive aftermarket
product line positioned to allow professional installers to “Do A Better Job Faster”. Research
indicated key benefits for installers were products allowing them to turn bays faster, reduce
comebacks and improve their customers’ vehicle performance.