Jefferey Hollander: Life After Seventh Generation

business politics via image

TreeHugger drank the press-release Kool-aid when we wrote Seventh Generation Changes CEOs; in fact, the New York Times tells us that he resigned in a power struggle over the company's direction. But he has moved on;

Mr. Hollender is trying to make (organic) lemonade of his break with Seventh Generation, spending less time at his home near Burlington, Vt., where the company is, and more back in New York, where, he said, it will be easier to work on public policy issues in what he views as an increasingly disparate, imbalanced society.

The Times dishes out some of the dirt:

In 2009 Mr. Hollender stepped down as Seventh Generation's chief executive, replaced by Chuck Maniscalco, a former PepsiCo executive who was charged with increasing revenue to $1 billion annually from $150 million. It was then that Mr. Hollender went on his vision quest in Colorado. He agreed to stay as a board member and be the face of Seventh Generation, expanding the brand with books, speaking engagements and other media.

But in little more than a year, Mr. Maniscalco quit, clashing with Mr. Hollender over the pace of Seventh Generation's expansion. According to a statement on Oct. 26, 2010, from Peter Graham, its chairman, the board voted in September to put Mr. Hollender on a leave of absence and remove him from the board "pending further discussions about his future role." At a board meeting in October that Mr. Hollender said was painful, his relationship with the company was terminated. Both Mr. Hollender and the board declined to elaborate.

Chrystie Heimert, a spokeswoman for Seventh Generation, said the board agreed that Mr. Maniscalco had needed "unambiguous authority." And ending Mr. Hollender's relationship with the company would provide that.

More in the New York Times
More on Jeffery Hollender:
Learning Tough Lessons About Leadership in Green Business
Seventh Generation Changes CEOs
Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollender on "Big Green Lies" and Earth Day