Bill Foley, Libbey

homeworld players foleyThe August 15 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 11th Annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Bill Foley, Libbey Inc., Chairman and CEO

PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Bill Foley, appointed Libbey’s chairman and CEO in January 2016, brings to his position more than 30 years of experience in glass tableware and consumer products, including positions at Rubbermaid’s specialty products division, Anchor Hocking and the consumer division of The Scotts Company. His prior experience includes sales, product development, growing businesses, marketing and management.

WHAT TO WATCH: Under Foley’s watch, Libbey’s goal is to be a trend leader in stemware. This includes the relaunch of its U.S.-made premium glassware formula, ClearFire, incorporated into the brand’s Signature line. The launch also follows Libbey’s goal to bring high quality product to market. Foley is also leading Libbey’s “Own the Moment” strategy, a multi-pronged effort to transform its business from an “industrial manufacturing company to a customer based marketing business that is highly responsive to the changing market, and to lead that change,” said Foley.

Libbey’s three main priorities are strengthening its organizational capabilities to drive growth by developing innovative new products, building stronger and closer relationships with customers, and simplifying business so it performs more efficiently, said Foley. The company has embarked on a portfolio optimization project, which will reduce the complexity in its product offering, undergoing a global review of lines and eliminating underperforming SKUs to simplify its business and operate more nimbly. These inventory efforts are part of Libbey’s goal to “start making what we can sell rather than selling what we can make,” he said.

Also under Foley’s watch, Libbey has undergone quantitative and qualitative market research on how to develop product and marketing opportunities, has implemented a sales opportunity pipeline measurement tool, and has begun back office practices to respond to customer requests faster.

PERSPECTIVE: “The organization, the associates and the strategy should absolutely, positively be focused on the customer and the consumer. The customer is at the heart of all our decisions,” said Foley.

2017 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):