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SALES, GENERAL MANAGEMENT expertise in growth critical organizations desirous of elevating revenue/profits, strategy, people and customer relationships well beyond next level.



A results proven general management and sales executive with PEPSICO, QUAKER and entrepreneurial ventures, Ken has driven breakthrough profitable revenue growth by:

·      Re-strategizing Underperforming Businesses

·      Developing Exceptional People and Teams

·      Establishing Excellent Customer Relationships and Execution Processes

Having led teams in multiple industries and channels, Ken has directed business segments up to $2B in top-line revenue while driving top 10 percentile share and profit growth.  As an entrepreneur, significant education software penetration levels were realized within some of the largest/most challenging school districts including Los Angeles, San Diego, Dade, Broward and Duval counties.

Ken's value proposition is about Leading Change via the use of strong analytics, vision/innovation, customer sensitivity and people/process alignment. This winning formula consistently produces cutting edge insights, resourceful business plans and flawless execution. Correspondingly, Ken utilizes an overall business evaluation framework (Customer, Strategy, People, Systems, and Values), to identify and correct organizational bottlenecks that may hinder total plan optimization.

  • As President/CEO Test Tools ($1MM), led the acquisition, business plan re-launch and Sales/ Marketing efforts of an Education Software Company ultimately posting 200% increases in customer penetration and 300% growth in direct to consumer purchases. Directed leadership team including Chief Development Officer, Director of Marketing/Support Systems, IT Manager and 5 Sales Reps.  Winning strategies included transition to more efficient web-based platform, creation of “white space” product offerings (Spanish), launching Direct-to-Consumer Portal, 75% cost reductions through web-based selling efforts and signing Strategic Alliance Partner.  
  • As VP Change Leadership ($9B), led the strategic development, re-design and implementation of new Quaker Tropicana Gatorade selling force (in conjunction with QTG/Pepsico/Frito Lay customer teams) thus driving unprecedented revenue and profit growth ($712MM / $248MM). Matrix reporting relationship across 3 Divisions/VP's.
  • As VP/GM South Region ($1.8B),  led the organizational transformation and 2 year reversal of business declines resulting in $300MM/$105MM revenue/profit growth (2nd best in US).
  • As Director/GM Pacific Region ($550MM), led redesign and implementation of a redefined customer facing organization that delivered "best in class" consumer insights/sales increases to major Western U.S. Customers (Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, etc.). 
    • Exceeded aggressive revenue and profit plans.  Earned #1 Performing Unit two years consecutively.
  • As Chairman, Board of Governors – FSU College of Business, led the re-engineering of a board turnaround resulting in new board strategic vision, specific objectives and an actionable plan to track accomplishments.  Also played critical role to influence the development of a new marketing and branding strategy, a new College wide strategic plan and the implementation of a number of exciting new initiatives, including the Student Leadership Council.

Work experience

Sep 2009Present


Anewda, LLC

Founded/leading consultancy helping businesses accelerate growth via re-thinking strategy, consultative selling, people development and enhanced execution processes.  Clients represent broad industry exposure and transferable skill base: Food/Beverage, Retail Promotion/Advertising, Car Rental Retailing, Digital Publishing, Education Software, Talent Assessment/Development, Healthcare Software Solutions, and Technology companies. 

Apr 2007Jun 2009


Test Tools, Inc

Led and recently sold company that develops and markets customized educational software to southern and western U.S. school districts. Test simulation software enhances student performance by 20%+ on state mandated core knowledge exams.

Accomplishments featured repositioning and execution of new Business Plan that led to a 200% increase in customer penetrations and 300% growth in student and parental purchases.  Specifics included;

  • Implementing recurring revenue model thus transitioning company from CD Rom platform to web-based ASP, while reducing customer costs and accelerating content delivery.
  • Launching a Direct-to-Consumer (B2C) Portal that opened access to student/parent purchasers in addition to school districts.
  • Development and rollout of two Web-Based Product Lines for Florida & California.
  • Development and rollout of new Spanish Language Product Line for California.
  • Driving 75% cost reduction in customer coverage and 10X increase in trial generation through new marketing strategies, website redesign and trade show execution.
  • Recruiting and signing instrumental Strategic Alliance partner.
Apr 2005Jan 2007

VP Change Leadership -- US Sales

Pepsico, Inc. (QTG)

Among principle contributors to the strategic development, re-design, and implementation of $9B new sales organization.  Also led sales organization role for Project One-Up, a corporate-wide business process transformation initiative. 

  • Influenced significant U.S. revenue growth results (108% / $712MM vs LY).
  • Designed, recruited and trained Project One-Up Implementation Team.
Mar 2002Apr 2005

VP Sales/GM South Region

Pepsico, Inc. (QTG)

Drove assigned revenue, profit and share growth of $1.8B P&L center covering Florida-to-Tennessee-to-New Mexico.  Developed exceptional relationships with top regional customers that resulted in innovative, highly effective programs.  Recruited and retained diverse employee base of 240 full-time employees.  Effectively managed $300MM P&L and seven direct reports including Directors-Customer Development, Director-Business Development, Finance Director, HR, Supply Chain and Retail Managers.

  • Reversed two-year decline of bankrupt customers and convenience store channel blurring trends culminating in 2004/2005 CAGR's of 109% and revenue/profit growth of $308MM & $105MM.  
  • Oversaw Tropicana DSD start-up/expansion across 5-state region – customer sell-in, route engineering, large and small format merchandising. 
  • Grew/exceeded U.S. share performance in seven of ten categories.
  • Top 10 U.S. percentile for recruitment, development and promotion of talent (diverse and general population).
Sep 1998Mar 2002

VP Business Development/Strategy

Led business development, category management, training and development, customer business planning and sales strategy for $6B U.S. customer organization. Responsible for domestic U.S. business units, including Gatorade beverages, hot breakfast, RTE cereals, Golden Grain dinners/pasta and snacks products. Oversaw six direct reports, including director-center for excellence, director-channels strategy/e-commerce and group managers for customer marketing.

  • Influenced Quaker/Gatorade’s unprecedented sales growth.
    • Gatorade 3 year CAGR -- 10% / $160MM 
    • Hots/Snacks 3 year CAGR -- 6% /  $30MM
  • Redesigned, consolidated and integrated new customer planning process across domestic U.S. business units.
  • Led development of customer organization's strategic long-range plan thus elevating customers evaluation of Quaker from mid-tier to top-tier (Cannondale measure).
Aug 1994Sep 1998

VP Customer Financial Services

Led and completely improved efficiencies of revenue cycle operations -- receivables, deductions, credit management -- to maximize efficient funds receipt/payment across 7,000 customers. Responsible for over $4B in receivables and over $500MM in payments to foods, beverage and foodservice customers. Oversaw five direct reports, four sub-departments and over 100 full-time employees.

  • Developed strategic plan, key processes and organizational redesign, resulting in up to $67MM controllable earnings increase.
  • Conceived and implemented financial account manager role that drove productivity improvements 40% higher than traditional positions.
Oct 1988Aug 1994

Director Sales/GM - Pacific Customer Bus. Cntr.

Led $550MM, 160+ person Sales and Field Marketing organization encompassing 16 western states and over half the U.S. geographically.

  • Conceived and piloted first customer business center - a cross-functional organization that delivered enhanced category expertise, joint business planning, data-base marketing and P&L management to leading regional and national customers. 
  • Exceeded plan all years. Posted #1 vs Plan or Sales Growth for 2 consecutive years.

Additional Roles

  • Zone Sales Manager, Detroit -- 1986
  • Asst Brand Manager, Life Cereal -- 1984
  • National Planning Manager, U.S. Foods -- 1983
  • Region Planning Manager, Central U.S. -- 1982



Additional Training:

  • Vistage International, Inc – Past Member
  • Executive Leadership Seminar -- Harvard Business School
  • Executive Leadership Training -- Darden School of Management
  • University of Southern California – Food Industry Management


Core & Advanced Skills
  Strategic Planning/Selling Customer Relationship Talent & High Performance Team Development Change Leadership – Vision, selling ideas, on-boarding organization Innovation/Non-Linear Thinking Entrepreneurial -- Different industry; more with less; broad skills application; speed to market  Multiple Channels  -- Grocery, C-Store, Club, Mass Merch Multiple Systems -- Warehouse, DSD, Direct, Broker/3rd Party P&L Management Tactical Execution


Mary Dillon

I’ve known Ken for over 25 years in various roles of increased responsibility within Pepsico and Quaker.  Ken simply will always raise the level of play in ANY organization he’s assigned due to his passion, vision/strategic capabilities, customer focus and people leadership.  Additionally, his integrity and class are second to none.”

Patrick Gostley

“Ken Willis was one of the best clients I've ever had the pleasure to work. He is extremely intelligent and a very fast learner. Ken has an uncanny ability to look at a situation from many different angles and he is always open to new ideas. These traits are what separate truly successful business owners from everyone else.”

Mike Quinn

“Ken is one of the best leaders I have ever worked with. Not just a leader in the over-used sense of the word, but a true leader of truly exceptional executives. Ken was selected to design, lead and pilot Quaker's first ever Customer Business Center. This was a mission critical assignment, designed to make Quaker competitive with, and compatible with, world class organizations such as Pepsico...which later acquired Quaker. Ken's pilot was an absolute success, driving significant sales results and efficiencies for over 1/4 of the US and setting the path for a successful roll-out across the company. Key to Ken's success, was his ability to assembled a portfolio of the best Managers, Directors and VPs across the company, to rally them around a shared vision, and to empower them to get the business done and to explore the possible. Ken is a world-class change agent, business driver and leader.”

Van Loudenslagel

“I had the benefit, and pleasure of working with Ken on a number of major Sales Organization transitions during my time at Quaker Oats. I witnessed Ken's exceptional leadership skills and creative sales management strategies throughout his career. Three situations standout: (1) Ken led major sales force reorganization at QTG (Quaker,Tropicana & Gatorade) that netted a 10% G&A Savings, 108%/$700M+ Revenue Growth, Increased Customer Coverage at both HQ and Retail, (2) Ken led the innovation of Quaker's Customer Business Centers which led to the Total Customer Development sales strategies that netted Quaker industry leadership in Category management, Transactional efficiencies and Supply chain effectiveness, and (3) Ken was an innovative marketer of Life Cereal Brand achieving double digit annual growth rates and profit records. Ken's utilization of a variety of emerging technologies enabled his sales organization to develop the strategies and tactics that earned them top industry and customer survey rankings. He is an excellent recruiter of talent with a high success rate of promotion and retention. He surrounds himself with people with a variety of backgrounds, skills and experiences embracing diversity. I fully recommend Ken. He is one of the best!”

Mary Gahan

“Ken is a highly regarded strategic thinker who drives organizational focus and breakthrough business results in all his endeavors. He has a tremendous passion for people development, creating clear alignment and accountability, and driving change in organizations. Above all, he is an inspirational leader and a person with whom everyone enjoys working!”

Melvin Stith

“Ken is one of the most capable, driven, honest, loyal and committed guys I’ve known. I have through the years told dozens of people what a tremendous guy he is . . . I am extremely proud to call him friend and colleague.“

Caryn Beck-Dudley

“Ken Willis chaired the College's alumni board when I became the Dean of the College of Business at Florida State University. He was absolutely instrumental in engineering a turnaround of the board, resulting in a new board strategic vision, specific objectives and an actionable plan to track accomplishments. This type of task is very difficult with an all volunteer board of senior executives. He utilized his vast private sector experience in creating value which resulted in spurring individuals and the College itself to action. Ken's leadership resulted in the College developing a new marketing and branding strategy, a new College wide strategic plan and the implementation of a number of exciting new initiatives. We could never have achieved all we did in the short time that it was accomplished without Ken's steady hand. He is a superb and visionary leader.

Lee Burleson

“Ken is an exceptional leader with a combination of strategic and results oriented skills. He sets a very high ethical and business standard for team members and works with them to exceed business goals. I would highly recommend Ken Willis to any company valuing accelerated and sustainable growth. 

Colin St. Clair

“Ken Willis is a strong respected executive capable of leading and delivering transformational change to an organization. His visioning skills and ability to transfer vision into operating action then reality are outstanding. He uniquely challenges and develops those he leads to deliver sustainable quality results. Ken would be a tremendous senior executive asset to any company.”

Steve Roden

“Ken and I worked together in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Govenors for Florida State University College of Business. He provided teriffic leadership and has had a profound impact on the Board and its accomplishments over the past few years. I highly recommend Ken because of his leadership skills, fun loving personality and level of enthusiasm he brings to the party.”