In 1982, Paul Newman added a second job to his storied acting career when he launched his own food company Newman’s Own. What made the company unique was its audacious giving pledge: the company donates 100% of its profits to charity.

Newman’s Own gained an impressive reputation for its charitable impact and contagious culture, stemming from its charismatic founder. But as Newman grew older, the question was: who could possibly fill the his outsized role once he was gone. Newman knew that that his successor would need to share his values and his vision for the future, and be prepared to make an even greater impact in the community.

Newman knew just the person. He tapped his dear friend, Bob Forrester, who had worked with Newman for years and had been leading the Newman’s Own Foundation, which is the recipient of the profits from the food business. In 2008, when Paul Newman passed away, Forrester stepped up to lead Newman’s Own as the executive chairman (he still serves as CEO of the foundation) and carry on the legacy of his friend.

Much of Forrester’s energy as CEO of Newman’s Own has been centered around the creative ways to sustain the company’s culture...He works hard to connect each employee to the purpose of their work, which he would argue is a business imperative,

“You’re not able to hire and retain the best associates by just paying them more… you have to do that through engaging them more, giving them more of a sense of purpose and ownership of what goes on in the organization.”

For Forrester, continued leadership in this community is grounded in his own personal sense of humility, the culture of Newman’s Own and a promise he made to his dear friend.

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