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Q&A with Nutrisystem CEO Dawn M. Zier
With Auto-Delivery, you are automatically charged and shipped your Day program once every 4 weeks unless you cancel. Obviously, I recommend Nutrisystem. I have a deeper understanding for how people, largely women, struggle with weight and how it's an emotional issue, a nutritional issue, and a physical issue. Your weight is down. Zier came to Nutrisystem from Reader's Digest Association RDA , a leading global, multi-brand and multi-platform media, data and marketing company. Specifically, Nutrisystem needed a leader who possessed a deep knowledge of direct and ecommerce marketing and who could address myriad problems in the organization, Hagan notes. FOCUSED We prioritize our activities and act with a sense of urgency on those initiatives which will meaningfully move our business forward.

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Zier set clear expectations for employees and goals for the company. She gave every person in the company in a leadership role a laminated handout containing the goals for the year and strategies for achieving them. The acronym FACTS stands for Focused, Accountable, Customer-centric, Team-oriented, and Solution-driven, Zier explains, and is intended to remind employees to focus on the priorities, clearly understand their goals, listen to customers without making assumptions, work as a team, and be driven to find solutions.

The achievement could be anything from a notable number of sales to negotiating a great medical benefit, she adds. Except when it comes to playing sports. She has to win. For her, everything is full-out. Ineffective sales and marketing strategies also played a significant role. In an effort to boost sales, the company had started discounting its products, which is not a good sales strategy, says Zier. Nutrisystem was also talking less about weight loss and more about how inexpensive the food was.

Both strategies were misguided and sent the wrong message to customers, she says. Zier took a different direction by making select Nutrisystem products available at certain retail outlets for the first time. The direct-to-consumer channel has a lot of potential for the company, she notes.

Dieters can lose several pounds in just one week, a quick win that lays the groundwork for more success. Nutrisystem also now offers its snacks as a standalone product in addition to being part of the meal packages.

Although Zier is generally very analytical, Krausz says, her reasoning behind making snacks more available was simply: In addition, the company is focusing on developing more options for dieters with specific needs, including vegetarians and people with diabetes.

All meals are shipped to customers via FedEx and can be prepared in less than five minutes. The food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, is kept cool during shipment in a specially designed temperature-controlled carrier.

Nutrisystem is well positioned for the future because of its diverse products and services, and its partnerships with retailers, notes LaRosa. A decade ago, DIY dieters comprised 70 percent of the dieting market; today that figure is 82 percent, points out La Rosa. Among its recent initiatives, Nutrisystem launched NuMi, a digital device that integrates with wearable fitness devices and health platforms. Both she and Krausz have lengthy drives to work, so they sometimes use that time to discuss the business.

Whether someone is trying to transform physically or revitalize a company, change is never easy or simple. Samantha Drake is a freelance writer based in Lansdowne, PA. Contact us at editorial smartceo. Turning an organization around financially and culturally is a tall order, and means the new leader has to hit the ground running.

Zier gives the following advice to CEOs facing big challenges:. Zier brought several former colleagues with her to Nutrisystem to help her assess the situation and reinvigorate the company. But she was careful to create a diverse team. Turning a company around is the time to be bold. Zier says she decided not long after she joined Nutrisystem that the company should start selling selected products at Wal-Mart.

Going into retail for the first time was a risk, but Zier says she knew Nutrisystem had to strike out in a promising new direction. He received a BS from St. Bernstock has served as a Director since December Prior to that, he was self-employed as an independent consultant. From October to April , Mr. Earlier in his career, he was the President of both the U. Bernstock has served as a director of The Pantry, Inc. Guyardo has served on the board since He is a builder and leader of world-class teams that consistently deliver profitable growth for multi-billion dollar direct-to-consumer businesses.

Guyardo transformed digital at Discovery Inc. He was recruited to transform digital and direct-to-consumer. Paul quickly launched streaming apps for nine U. He quadrupled subscribers of Eurosport Player a European sports OTT service in 12 months and created a comprehensive go-to-market strategy for a new, multi-platform automotive service branded MotorTrend by combining an OTT service with a linear cable network. Herratti has served as a Director since April Herratti is also the Principal of Jay Herratti Ventures where he is an investor and advisor to early-stage ventures.

Herratti is an experienced strategic leader and digital expert with extensive experience in managing consumer, b2b, and nonprofit businesses. Prior to his current position he was the CEO of CityGrid Media, an online media company that connects web and mobile publishers with local advertisers. CityGrid Media owns and operates CityGrid, a local content and advertising network, as well as leading local consumer brands such as Urbanspoon, Citysearch and InsiderPages.

Herratti also served on the Board of Directors at Constant Contact, which helps more than half a million small organizations connect with their customers through a suite of online engagement marketing tools.

He has a B. Mangan has served as a Director since July A veteran of a number of high profile consumer facing companies, Mr. Earlier in his career, he worked at General Motors and its GMAC subsidiary in various positions involving strategic and business planning, corporate finance and investments and new business activities.

Tierney has served as a Director since February He is a nationally recognized expert in marketing and communications and an accomplished entrepreneur.

He serves as Chief Executive Officer of Brian Communications, an integrated marketing communications firm. His comprehensive strategies incorporate branding, content creation, social media, public relations, advertising and digital marketing initiatives for a diverse list of clients. Prior to this, Mr. FRBK as well as on a variety of civic, educational and charitable boards. Weiss has been a director since March Today, she is considered to be one of the most senior thought leaders, advisors and practitioners working in the digital transformation of the consumer sector.

Prior to establishing her own consulting business, Ms. Weiss is a member of several other public company boards including: She also serves on the Board of The Fischer Company, a private real estate services and technology firm. Weiss served on the boards of Newgistics, the leader in third party logistics sold to Pitney Bowes , GSI Commerce, a leading ecommerce platform, which was sold to eBay in , eDiets, an early pioneer in digital diet services , as well as retailers Pep Boys and Brookstone.

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Zier President and Chief Executive Officer.

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