Wherever she goes, Jodi Allen attracts big challenges. As VP of North American baby care at Procter & Gamble Co., Ms. Allen launched Pampers Dry Max, billed as the biggest diaper innovation ever for the company's biggest global brand -- and steering it through a social-media firestorm fueled by a handful of reports of diaper rash. Ultimately, the lessons learned help fuel Pampers' award-winning "Miracles" campaign.
Then, last year she became VP-North American operations and marketing, overseeing P&G's media and multibrand marketing as it faces growing pressure from a slow U.S. market, declining shares, price hikes and aggressive competition. She's also point person in North America for the 2012 Summer Olympics push -- P&G's biggest global campaign.
"Obviously our business in North America is in a challenging place, and we're using that as an opportunity," said Ms. Allen. "We're getting the right resources, the right decisions made, and I feel very confident about where we're headed." Working with media companies is key. Beyond Starcom Mediavest Group's role, she said, "I see my direct relationship [with media companies] as setting some of the strategy and helping to paint the vision for where we do think media is going."
What career advice would you have given yourself when you were starting out?
I would have said, "Dream big." I never would have imagined I would have had the career path I had at P&G.
What's one fact about yourself that will surprise people?
The fact that I had four kids over five years and still have been able to do the things that I have done. They are now ages 16 to 21.
Do you have a favorite book?
My two favorite authors are Michelle Moran [and] Phillipa Gregory.
And a dream vacation spot?
My husband and I have created a bucket list. I know you're supposed to stop at 100, but ours, I think, is [at] 350.