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Being Courageous

Former Chief Executive Officer at Sealed Air Corporation

IP Interview
Published on April 30, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • The importance for young managers to think and sell new ideas to leaders to progress
Executive Bio

Jerome Peribere

Former Chief Executive Officer at Sealed Air Corporation

Jerome was CEO and President of Sealed Air Corporation, the global leader in food and protective packaging, from 2012-17 where he grew the business to over $7bn in revenue. He led Sealed Air’s transformation programme to regain position as industry leader and increased EBITDA margins from sub 10% - 15%. Jerome previously worked at The Dow Chemical Company for 35 years, one of the top 3 chemical producers globally, serving in a variety of leadership roles throughout the world. He spent most of his career in Dow AgroSciences, before serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Dow Advanced Materials, a $12 billion revenue unit of Dow serving customers in more than 130 countries.

Interview Transcript

Jerome, is there anything else that you would suggest to young leaders today, to focus on, as they look to progress in their career?

If there is one thing that I would say to a young manager, who wants to grow and who is committed, it is, be courageous. That’s the only thing. Being courageous means, think and when you see the opportunity for getting things done better, sell your idea to others and go ahead and volunteer. If you have a negative environment around you, you might get frustrated, or you might get fired. But if you are courageous and if you get fired, don’t doubt.

I told Sealed Air, very often, to all our employees, don’t worry. If you don’t like it here, don’t be a masochist. Go somewhere else. Have the confidence that you can find a better paid job, somewhere else, because there are lots of opportunities. If you are good and have courage, I would hate to see you go. But in fact, what you’re finding out is that very few people have courage. They think that courage must be mitigated by being politically correct and by following the system. I’m not telling you to be a rebel. I’m telling you to be courageous and positively sell your ideas to others and don’t shut up when you have a real issue with what is being done.

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