Interview with Douglas D. Tough

Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerInternational Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

"We see challenges in 2013 everywhere, but we see opportunities too."

"The recent environment has been extremely challenging – natural disasters, with the implications of credit disasters, the financial crisis of a couple of years ago – and those challenges have forced a lot of companies to be more nimble."

"The IFF Board of Directors and management team have responded in a number of ways, ranging from beefing up our enterprise risk management and disaster mitigation strategies, to enhancing the development of the management team."

"We have a more global and diverse team than we did a few years ago. We’ve increased our training and the exposure management has to new opportunities, all of which are oriented to making them more adaptable, because we think the pace of change is going to accelerate."

"Innovation and partnership are important components for IFF. We look for partners who are oriented towards the same goals as us. There’s a rigorous upfront discussion to make sure there is a good basis for partnership and consistent chemistry between the companies and their objectives."

"We have a good runway for growth. We’re watching many of our customers – the food and beverage multinationals – target the growing middle class all around the world, which has been estimated to rise by roughly a billion people over the next five to 10 years."

"For multinationals, they have to adapt properly to local needs. Local competitors and regional competitors are also improving their performance constantly, which will represent a threat to the multinationals."

"We’re thinking about the trend five years from now in order to reshape some of our R&D. Robust, consistent, ongoing consumer understanding is vital to us, because the pace of change is accelerating."

"We’re always looking for trends. The focus with our marketing and consumer insights groups is good data mining to pick up the kernels of new learning which will set the new trends."

"As a CEO, one has many stakeholders committed to the company’s success. They range from investors to the board of directors, to our customers, to our employees, and to the communities in which we operate."

"And there are the communities in which our 29 factories are sited around the world. In those towns and cities, it’s important that we’re seen as a responsible citizen – and I think we are."


As part of PwC's 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Douglas D. Tough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc. In this short video, Douglas talks about increasing organisational agility to deal with disruptive events, responding to customer needs, expanding into new markets and stakeholder engagement.

Doug assumed the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IFF in 2010. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ansell Limited, a global leader in healthcare barrier protection. Doug holds a MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky.
  These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.


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