SPARK OF THE CORPORATE
25-year veteran of the sports industry, Matthew is responsible for the major business strategies, business and brand operations for Reebok. Matthew possesses strong leadership and interpersonal skills, he has a great ability to build a passionate and experienced team and he has a proven record of success in North America. Matthew operated with entrepreneurial spirit and a mere obsession with the consumers. He is always attuned to the needs and expectations of the customers and especially fans.
Early career ...
Matthew H O’Toole also known as Matt, was associated with Centre Partners Management LLC as operating partner and since 2008, was associated with Reebok as Chief Marketing Officer Global Head at Reebok International since 2012. Earlier to that, he served as a Chief Marketing Officer at Reebok International from 2008 to 2012. Since 2001 to 2004, he served as a president and CEO for Hockey Company Holdings. From 1991 to 2001, he served as Senior Vice-President – Marketing and Sales for Hockey Company Holdings. Prior to that Matthew was associated with Tommy Armour Golf Company as Vice – President World – Wide Marketing and also served Wilson Sporting Goods Company.
Influences which turned him as a successful entrepreneur ...
Some of the early influences helped Matthew in shaping himself and becoming a business leader. The starting of Balloon Brothers, delivering balloons in tuxedos directly to the houses and doing business by purchasing a hotdog stand made him experiencing a flavor for entrepreneurial spirit of satisfying the customer by creating something which most satisfies the customer.
In order to build a business by just focusing only on the modern version of fitness, Matthew has established an incredible product archive which provides a strong foundation and back story.
Stint at Reebok ...
For about more than five decades, Reebok is continuously creating waves in the world of active wear. This continued under the leadership of the president Matthew as well, whose style of leadership can be defined by the bold decisions.
With the innovations and product spread offered to the customers, Matthew has placed Reebok as the right brand at the right time catering to the people who were in need of.
A continuous increasing trend can be observed with respect to sales and the future seems to be bright as Matthew has planned the future in such a manner that the company is observed a continuous growth and Matthew has planned for much more innovation in the near future which is in the pipeline.
Matthew always show concern towards whether he knows enough about the customers and the ideas and products that are brought into the market, are they based on the meaningful insight. It was Matthew who has helped Reebok to mold its modern image as a fitness-first athletic brand. Even when Reebok is facing intense competition in the athletic market, Matthew is confident enough that the company is always on the right track.
When as a CEO of CCM – ice hockey Equipment Company in Montreal, Matthew was forced to close the manufacturing facilities, which was really a difficult decision and which weighed a lot on Matthew. But as time passed and when he looked back, it helped Matthew in getting back the company to life. It was then Matthew realized that in tougher moments one learns more about self and which helps in becoming a more effective leader.
As a CEO, Matthew makes big and bold decisions. There are two main key decisions which have to be cited which can be considered as turning point for Reebok. One is business decision, while the other is cultural decision. From business point of view, one of the toughest decisions taken was the decision regarding shift in focus on fitness, which was taken almost five years back by leaving almost 700 million euro of sports business and replace with fitness and with the growth expectation in terms of revenue. This decision has paid off to the company. On the cultural front, the company has provided an hour every day for the employees to work out apart from their lunch hour. This bought a massive transformation in the employees. They were able to understand their colleagues in a different way and thus a healthier outlook was felt by the employees and made them more active and productive. This replicates that being a CEO, Matthew had walked to make the company walk.
Reebok differentiates itself from Adidas in such a way that while the latter more into traditional team sports, while Reebok focus more on fit-for-life consumer thus having much more clarity of purpose.
Matthew always feels that the world around and the people should be aware that the business is cognitively strong, maintaining better social relations and living longer and healthier. Matthew feels that it is very fortunate to be associated with the business that he is personally more passionate about.
To be successful, at times Matthew had to face many difficulties and take hard decisions, like exit some of the big categories like basketball, by exiting nearly 500 million euros which is approximately $600 million revenue. It was really a courageous decision but Matthew strongly believes that in the long run this decision would definitely make the company much stronger.
Matthew as president was responsible for creating the industry’s market leader by creative marketing, innovative products, strong customer relationships and unparalleled partnerships. Matthew has always demonstrated the track record of success, even in the most critical region by focusing the top priority of the Reebok brand towards long – term sustainability in the U S market.
During Matthew’s tenure as President for the company which was started in the year 2001, 35% of growth was observed in terms of market share, with sales getting doubled and three times increase in the profits. Reebok is the first company to come up with the fitness shoes exclusively for women, which is not aware by most of the people. Matt believes that the concept of Fitness is the future. Under the leadership of Matthew, the global sales of Reebok have reached up to $2.2 billion in 2017.
Under the leadership of Matthew, some of the fitness partnerships were very successful for Reebok. The most successful were those which are related to building communities. It means that the consumer should feel engaged and connected, beyond getting s workout, and when this experience is created, some magic happens in the fitness activity. Example of such a partnership for Reebok is its partnership with Ragnar Relay partnership.
Two cents for future entrepreneurs...
• Prior to attending any interview, it is essential to do the required homework thoroughly by knowing as much as possible about the company and about the interviewer. This can be done by digging a bit deeper and project that you have understood the challenges and successes of the company.
• As a CEO, one cannot avoid making difficult decisions. It is only in tough times that one learns most about the self and thus become more effective leader.
• It is very important to have people around you who are willing to invest, engage themselves and take the ownership for not only the outcome but also of the plan.
• Always keep learning, have new experiences and challenge yourself.
• Always have a look of behind – the – scenes of the most successful entrepreneurs around the world, which helps in learning what exactly inspired them, what were the challenges faced and how likely to work.
Matthew has been graduated in MBA from Kellogg School of Management of the Northwestern University and has completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from University of Miami. Matthew has five children. Matthew is very much influenced by a professor at Harvard named John Ratey.
Hope readers caught up the spark...