Tuesday, May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024
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Executive Perspectives: David Holl

The chairman and CEO of Mary Kay talks about pivoting the company’s manufacturing strategies and maintaining corporate culture.

David Holl joined Mary Kay Inc. in 1993 and was named treasurer and CFO three years later. He became president and COO in 2001, and in 2006 was named president and CEO. Under his leadership, Mary Kay has expanded into numerous new markets, and its global revenue has more than doubled.

How are you maintaining your company culture? 

“Strong company culture can take years—if not decades—to build through consistently living your mission and values. Culture is the foundation of success for any organization. In times of crisis, the most important thing is to fiercely protect your culture by not breaching trust and ensuring transparent communications. Your employees are invested in your company, now is the time to ensure their investment and trust is validated.”

What key strategies are you using? 

“The most important thing we are doing as leaders at Mary Kay is staying in constant communication with our employees. This crisis is changing rapidly, and in different parts of the world, countries are in various stages of the COVID-19 crisis. Leaders must recognize the vast emotional uncertainty. We are accountable for supporting our employees through consistent dialogue.”

What have you learned that may change your policies or strategies for the future? 

“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed a wide range of learnings for organizations on how they approach business. But I think the most impactful thing I have seen is a reminder of what people can achieve: at Mary Kay, our supply chain and manufacturing pivoted quickly to make a product we have never produced; hand sanitizer. It took us less than a week to go from concept to execution—our fastest development time, ever. In a crisis, you see the impossible happen.”