Women to Watch: Candace Matthews, Amway

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When Amway approached Candace Matthews about becoming its global chief marketing officer four years ago, her first reaction was: “Oh, I didn’t realize Amway still existed.”

That was about eight years after Amway had adopted the moniker Quixtar and tried to shift its focus to online sales in the U.S. Before that, many consumers recalled it mainly for its ties to evangelical religion and sales reps who pitched religion as vigorously as cleaning products.

But the reality was that Amway was already a $7.2 billion global marketer of beauty, nutrition and cleaning products, mainly through direct sales, but also through storefronts in China. And, in part thanks to Ms. Matthews, it was about to get bigger and more diverse still.

“I came to interview and found an unbelievably global company,” said Ms. Matthews, who at the time was president of L’Oreal’s SoftSheen-Carson division. But she also found a company whose U.S. division was struggling and lacked a global vision for its marketing, having been built up as a series of national affiliates.

Ms. Matthews, 52, was won over by the opportunity, and is happy she made the switch. “I’ve had an amazing time rebuilding the Amway brand and taking some of the great learnings of things we’ve done outside the U.S. and bringing them to the U.S.,” she said.

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