Mindy Grossman has worked for some the biggest companies out there: Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Nike.
In 2006, she took the helm at the then-floundering Home Shopping Network, relaunching the brand two years later. Fast-forward to the present day, and HSNi now boasts almost 7,000 employees and has become a $4 billion multichannel-retailer that reaches nearly 100 million households.
When she began at HSN, Grossman was its eighth CEO in 10 years. She credits her ability to turn the company around to boosting employee morale, thoroughly understanding the business and what was broken, and dramatically shifting the company culture.
One of the first things Grossman did was clean house, and she drew that inspiration from an unlikely source, she recently told CNBC.
"I'd just moved to St. Petersburg from New York City and remembered that when [former New York City mayor] Rudy Giuliani became mayor, one of the first things he did was get rid of all the graffiti." That led her to make an unusual decision: replacing every chair on HSN's campus with a new Aeron office chair.
That, Grossman explained, "was my way of getting rid of graffiti. It was a symbolic gesture of a new beginning and a catalyst for the work we did to reposition the brand."
Under Grossman, HSN expanded to become a multiplatform business that broadened beyond its television origins, and is now an online and mobile retail powerhouse. In a 2014 interview with Stanford Business School, the CEO explained she made a series of dramatic business decisions motivated by the idea that "if you don't disrupt yourself, you will be disrupted by someone else."