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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Heinz’s CEO on Powering Growth in Emerging Markets

by Bill Johnson

Bill Johnson has been the president and CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company since 1998 and its chairman since 2000.

The Idea

This year more than 20% of Heinz’s revenues will come from emerging markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil, versus less than 5% a few years ago. Longtime CEO Bill Johnson describes his strategy for growing sales in developing economies.

When I assumed the leadership of Heinz’s Asia/Pacific business, in 1993, the company’s revenues from that part of the world were hardly a blip—and I’d never visited most of the countries in the region. I made my first trip there soon after I took the job, and it really opened my eyes.

I went to visit a small ...

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