Greg Cairo, Le Creuset Of America

Le Creuset People to watch 2021

The August 17 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 15th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents 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 “People To Watch” 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.

Greg Cairo, Le Creuset Of America, CEO

CREDENTIALS: Greg Cairo spent 14 years at Groupe SEB, USA, in a variety of roles, including high-ranking positions as vp/sales as well as president. In 2019, Cairo was tapped to lead Le Creuset of America after the retirement of long-time CEO Faye Gooding. Cairo brought his knowledge of brand development and distribution channel strategy, looking to take Le Creuset to the next level.

WHAT TO WATCH: The coronavirus pandemic spurred sales of cookware as more consumers were spending time at home. These consumers were taking the time to invest in their kitchens and, in conjunction with the breadmaking boom, Dutch ovens were seeing high sales across the U.S.

However, there is still an issue brewing in the background— U.S.-imposed tariffs on French goods. While the company has gone to great lengths to fight against the potential business threat, the Trump Administration announced on July 10, 2020, that it will impose a 25% tariff on some French goods. Wine, cheeses and cookware are seemingly off the docket, for now, but it could shift.

In the meantime, Cairo will continue leading through innovation. Le Creuset has taken on various partnerships in the last year, including one between the brand and wedding registry site Zola, and has pushed the brand to continue to work on its durability and quality story with the release of its latest non-stick cookware line. Cairo understands the heritage and nostalgia that Le Creuset has with consumers and is continuing to strike the balance between the company’s traditions and new initiatives.

PERSPECTIVE: Cairo has an admiration for the quality and design of Le Creuset products, especially the beloved Dutch ovens that have become a staple in the kitchen of home cooks. He explained that in his role, he will continue to deliver exceptional products in all categories that are well positioned in the marketplace. However, he said that a thorough and aligned brand will bring increased value to the consumer.

“When buying Le Creuset, you are buying into more than just a product,” Cairo said. —Emily Cappiello

2021 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Janet Hayes, Crate & Barrel Holdings

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Samantha Rose, GIR (Get It Right)

Jay Zilinskas, Legacy Companies

Ed Vlacich, Lasko Holdings

Ben Gadbois, Corelle Brands

Joana McKenna, Walker Edison

Andreas Hansen, Plum

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s

Chris McDonough, Corkcicle

Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond

Mike Evans, Bestar-Bush

Greg Cairo, Le Creuset of America

Pamela Stafford, Hestan Culinary

Bob Maricich, International Market Centers

Mark Rosenzweig and Mark Barrocas, SharkNinja