Careers

Mindy Grossman took a gamble earlier on in her career — and it paid off

Mindy Grossman
Kholood Eid | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mindy Grossman

Risk taking is never easy, especially when it comes to managing your career. For businesswoman Mindy Grossman however, she took a key job risk earlier on in her life, and now heads up one of the world's leading weight management service providers.

"I left when I had no money — I left a job with no other job when I had a small child," Mindy Grossman, CEO and President of Weight Watchers, said during a Women in the World panel last week in New York.

"I came home and I said 'I'm leaving the next day because the values of this company does not align with who I am. And even though I am doing well, if I sit here and watch this, then I am contributing to this'."

The group Grossman revealed that she had left was Warnaco, a U.S. clothing group which was acquired by PVH in 2013. During her time at the company, Grossman held the position of senior vice president of menswear.

(L-R) Diane von Furstenberg, Mindy Grossman, Leila Hoteit, Christa Quarles and Katie Couric speak on stage at the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center on April 13, 2018 in New York City.
Nicholas Hunt | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
(L-R) Diane von Furstenberg, Mindy Grossman, Leila Hoteit, Christa Quarles and Katie Couric speak on stage at the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center on April 13, 2018 in New York City.

"And I left and I remember standing on Park Avenue and going 'What did I just do?' – But I knew I did the right thing. And the next day, Ralph Lauren called me and said 'I'm sorry you left, but you're going to come work for us'," she recalled.

Since then, the business leader has gone onto take a number of leadership roles, from being the CEO of HSN and the Polo Jeans Company, to becoming the vice chairman of the Board of Directors of UNICEF USA.

Abiding by her own mantra

So what is Grossman's secret to her success? When asked about what the rules were like when she started out in the business world, the executive said that she "never prescribed to the fact that there were any rules." This belief is probably why she's "never been afraid to take risks," she added.

"It's really important to note that I established my own rules and I've used that as a purpose filter throughout my career, and I've never compromised my values."

Mindy Grossman
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mindy Grossman

Grossman has in fact established and abided by her own mantra, which helps her determine whether certain risks are worth taking.

"I've created my own mantra of: Passion, purpose and impact — and that's what I've followed," Grossman told the audience at the New York-based panel titled "Reinvent the rules," which looked at changing the culture of business.

"So if I was in an environment, I actually remove myself from environments and I took those risks because I knew that if I followed that internally, that would be the right thing, no matter what happened. And I believe in that to this day."

Grossman added that not everybody however can make the same choices as removing themselves from certain working environments and taking risks when times are tough.

When it comes down to it, Grossman said it's "a matter of knowing what risk you're able to take at any given point in your life," adding that she had now reached a point in her career, where she was part of a platform that can create change for others.

A platform she finds "incredibly empowering and important."